The newest addition to the cast of the musical TV event, Peter Pan Live!(NBC) was announced on September 9. In the role of the mother of the Darling children, Mrs. Darling will be played by Broadway star and five-time Tony winner, actress Kelli O’Hara. There have been more photo stills released from this eagerly-anticipated musical, which is set to air on December 4, also.
Though Mrs. Darling is not as beloved of a character as the Darling children are, Kelli O’Hara’s role in Peter Pan Live! on NBC is a significant and important one to the success of the entire production. O’Hara will play the wife of George Darling and the mother of Michael, John and Wendy Darling.
Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment, referred to Kelli O’Hara as being “Broadway royalty, a musical star at the top of her game.” O’Hara is a very talented singer, and Greenblatt added that “we look forward to her rendition of the beautiful lullaby Tender Shepherd.”
Kelli O’Hara has had much success throughout her career on Broadway. Just in the last three years, O’Hara received two of her five Tony nominations. They were both for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. The first one was for “Nice Work If You Can Get It” from 2012 and the second one was for “The Bridges of Madison County” from 2014.
Previous to her last two Tony nominations, Kelli O’Hara was also nominated in 2005 for her acting in “The Light in the Piazza,” in 2006 for “The Pajama Game,” and in 2008 for her acting and singing in the musical “South Pacific.”
Besides appearing in the role of Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan Live! on NBC on December 4, 2014, on December 31, Kelli O’Hara will make her opera debut at the Met in New York City. She will be singing in a production of “The Merry Widow” with her co-star, Renee Fleming.
Then, beginning in the spring of 2015, O’Hara will be back on Broadway in a revival of The King and I. Her co-star will be the inimitable Ken Watanabe.
Returning to executive produce Peter Pan Live! on NBC will be the same duo, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who executive produced last December’s hit musical, The Sound of Music Live!, starring Carrie Underwood.
Allison Williams, who stars in the TV comedy series Girls, will play Peter Pan in Peter Pan Live! The role of the villainous Captain Hook will be played by Oscar winner and Emmy and Tony nominee Christopher Walken. Christian Borle will be in a dual role. He will be playing George Darling, the no-nonsense father of the Darling children, and also Smee, the dastardly right-hand man to Captain Hook.
Peter Pan Live! on NBC will be directed by the same director of The Sound of Music Live!, Emmy nominated director Rob Ashford. Besides being nominated for an Emmy for directing The Sound of Music Live!, he also won an Emmy as the choreographer for the 81st Annual Academy Awards Ashford won a Tony in 2002 for “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and he has been nominated for Tony awards seven other times.
The director for live television, according to the NBC Universal Media Village site, will be Glenn Weiss. He is a 10-time Emmy Award winner as both an executive producer and a director. The musical director will be Grammy and Emmy nominated David Chase
The cast of Peter Pan Live! on NBC is becoming finalized and the actors and actresses that have already been assembled are a strong indication that the musical event on December 4, 2104, will be a huge success. Besides bringing quality recorded television programs to viewing audiences across America, NBC has reaffirmed the network’s commitment to also bring the highest-quality live productions to TV with Peter Pan Live!
Written By Douglas Cobb