Peter Pan Live! on NBC was NBC’s second annual musical special holiday event, following last year’s successful production, The Sound of Music Live! Allison Williams, of the HBO series, Girls, starred in the role of Peter Pan.
Peter Pan Live! began with an aerial view of London. The camera panned down to the “orderly residence of the Darling family,” as Minnie Driver, the adult Wendy Darling, said, as she narrated the show. Inside, Wendy and her brother, John, danced, as the youngest brother, Michael, looked on. Wendy read from the story of Cinderella.
George Darling, the patriarch of the family, called the story “poppycock,” and complained that Wendy was “almost grown up.” Nanna got air all over George’s trousers when she jumped up on him. George then got Nana and took her outside.
Mrs. Darling said that she heard a sound outside on the roof, and saw a boy out there. She said that she believed “he has come back.’
George told Nana “I am the master of the house!”
Nana barked, and one of the Darling children said “That was the bark of danger!”
Mrs. Darling comforted them, and sang the first song of Peter Pan Live! Wendy and then the two boys joined in as they got into their beds. Mrs. Darling then went to the window and looked out, as she continued to sing. She told them “goodnight,” and still singing, turned out the lights, and left their room.
Tinkerbell showed up, as a light that flittered about the room of the children. Through a window that came open, Peter Pan flew, talking to Tinkerbell. Wendy heard Peter and woke up. Wendy asked him “why are you crying?” and he said “I don’t cry.”
Peter told her “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a house.” They went out into a corridor, and Peter said “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a corridor.”
Pan told her about Captain Hook, who has his hand “bitten off by a crocodile.” They returned to the nursery, and Wendy tried to talk with Peter about where he lived. He told her he could not get his shadow to stick, “even with soap.” Wendy sewed it on for him.
“Look! My very own shadow! the cleverness of me!”
“Of course, I had nothing to do with it,” Wendy said, and called him “conceited.” Then, Peter Pan said he was not conceited, and launched into I Gotta Crow. Peter Pan’s shadow would sometimes do different motions than he was, as Peter sang and danced about.
“I’d like to give you a kiss,” Wendy told him. He said “Thank you,” but did not really know what a kiss was.
Explaining about his past, Peter Pan told her “I ran away when I was born.”
Peter then sang to her about where he was born, with the song Neverland. It was a place “where you can never, never grow old,” Peter sang.
“Is it a large place?” Wendy asked.
“No, it’s quite small,” Peter answered.
“I wish I could see it!” she said.
“Oh, but you can!” Peter told her. She saw it when he instructed her what to do. As Peter finished the song, he was standing on the windowsill, looking out. Then, Peter Pan Live! went to a commercial break.
When the show came back, Wendy asked him “Peter, how do you get to Neverland?”
“You follow the golden arrows,” he answered. He told her that Tinkerbell was his fairy, and got mad when he spent too much time talking to someone else.
Tinkerbell did not like Wendy flirting with Peter. “Why did you come to our nursery?” Wendy asked.
“To hear your stories,” Peter replied. He told her about The Lost Boys, who “fell out of their carriages.” if they were not claimed in 7 days, they would go to Neverland, where he was their captain. Wendy told him she knew “a lot more stories,” and Peter said she should come back him with to Neverland. He told the boys they should come, also. He said “You just think wonderful thoughts and then you fly,” singing the song I’m Flying and flying about the nursery.
“Do you like it? Do you want to learn?” Peter asked them, throwing fairy dust on them. He said “Think Lovely thoughts.”
Michael was the first one to lift off of the ground; then, the other two children followed suite. Peter continued singing, then, and the children and Tinkerbell fly with him into the night sky of London. Just as they arrived at Neverland, Peter Pan Live! went to another commercial break.
The adult Wendy narrated about Captain Hook and his band of pirates having their ship moored nearby. The pirates sang a song an Captain Hook ordered his men “Drop anchor!” and “Secure the ship!”
“Why not sail home and enjoy life?” one of Hook’s crews asked. “He tossed my hand to a crocodile,” Captain Hook answered. “First and foremost, I must settle a score with dear old Peter Pan!” he siad.
Hook ordered all of his men onto the deck and asked them if he should leave Peter Pan there and leave.
“You mean retire?” one of them asked. Then, Captain Hook sang his first song of the show. “For his death, I want a death that’s cruel,” he sang. “A hook for every boy and a boy for every hook,” he sang and he danced about the ship with his men, even doing a bit of tap dancing.
They got their cannon ready, and shot it into the sky. Tiger lily and her band of Indians and everyone else on Neverland, the adult Wendy stated, “were unaware of Hook’s plan.” Tiger Lily and The Lost Boys danced on the island, until they heard the sound of cannons booming. Hook and his pirates landed on the island, singing about The Terrible Captain Hook.
Captain Hook then heard the ticking of a clock. “There’s no ticking croc,” Smee said. He suggested, again, that they “go home,” but Captain Hook did not want to do that. He stat “like a mother hen, and hatched his plot.” He sat upon a mushroom that was hot. Captain Hook asked his men if they “found the hideout.” He told the men to “inspire me with your rhythm,” and he ordered Smee to do a Tango with him, and his other men to also dance. he sang, about wanting to “show the Lost Boys their mistake.”
The pirates held Hook aloft, and he said “The croc!” when he head the ticking of a clock, and when the crocodile came onto the stage, Hook told his men “To the ship!” and they carried him off. Peter Pan Live! then headed to another commercial break.
Back from the break, The Lost Boys looked for Hook, but he was not around. Tinkerbell told them “Peter wants you to shoot the Wendy bird,” and one of them fired, saying “Peter will be so pleased!”
Peter told them “I have news! I brought you a mother. She came along with Tink.” Peter kissed Wendy, and the arrow did not kill her, after all. Peter banished Tinkerbell “forever.’ The Lost Boys told him that “Captain Hook was back.’
“Make Wendy feel you’re sorry for very nearly killing her, Peter said. He asked the Lost Boys to make a room that “was orderly, neat and tidy,’ like Wendy was used to. The Lost Boys and Peter sang, the Lost Boys singing “At last we have a mother, we have a mother!”
Peter handed brooms to The Lost Boys, and they swept up and danced, and scrubbed the wooden floors, still singing about “At last we have a mother!” The choreography was amazing.
Peter, Wendy, John and Michael slid down a slide into the room. There was even a swing set up, which Wendy sat in.
“Lovely, darling house!” Wendy asked.
The Lost Boys asked her to “be our mother.’ She replied, she would, “if Peter is the father.” After Wendy finished the story of Cinderella, one of The Lost Boys asked about Hamlet. She named off all of the characters who died in the play. Then, one of The Lost Boys said “And…?”
Wendy though, then said “All of the other characters lived happily ever after.’
Back on the pirate ship, Captain Hook sat on his golden throne. “Peter Pan has found a mother,’ he said. “The game is up!”
“They call her Wendy,’ one of the pirates said.
Captain Hook then thought about a way he could “wound” Peter Pan before he killed him. He decided, in a song, to kidnap Wendy and The Lost Boys and make them “walk the plank. Hook and the pirates danced all around the ship, then, Hook shook a tambourine as they danced and sang. Peter Pan Live! went to yet another commercial break.
When the show came back on, the adult Wendy narrated and said that Peter Pan, The lost Boys, and Tiger lily and her band of Indians did not know about Hook’s plan to blow up the island.
Wendy decided to teach The Lost Boys “their daily lessons.” Peter did not like the idea, but he asked if he could teach. He then sang I Won’t Grow Up, and The lost boys sang along with him. Wendy did not like her plans to teach The Lost boys ruined by Peter. She tried to correct their grammar, saying “Not I!” when Peter and The Lost Boys sang “Not me!”
Smee and a couple of the other pirates showed up, away form everyone else. They placed down an “X” to mark where they put the dynamite. Tiger Lily noticed the symbol, and wondered about it.
Wendy then tried to teach The Lost Boys “the art of diplomacy,” as she set up a picnic for them. The Lost Boys put their teacups and saucers on their heads, again singing I Won’t Grow Up.
Smee and the two pirates with him snuck around, and painted another “X” down, where they planted more dynamite. Tiger Lily noticed it, saying “I must warn Peter.”
“Hook and his pirates are up to no good!” Tiger Lily declared to them. She tried to get Peter to listen, but Peter said “I will, if you can catch me.” Wendy said she thought that Peter and the lost Boys should rest and take a nap. Wendy told Peter”You should set a good example for the children.”
“Right, but I’m not tired.” Peter said.
Elsewhere on the island, Captain Hook and his men showed up and grabbed Tiger Lily, capturing her. The show then went to another commercial break.
“Peter had no idea who had captured Tiger Lily,” the adult Wendy narrated.
Peter rowed Wendy in a boat, and talked about “many lives being lost here in a sneak attack.’ Wendy just thought it looked “beautiful.” She sang “Is it Only Pretend? and asked, in the song, if Peter “had these feelings to.” She sang “You’re like no boy that I know.”
Wendy then saw the tails of the mermaids that Peter mentioned lived in the lagoon, splashing about. “Just for a moment, let’s pretend that it’s real,” Wendy sang. Peter landed the boat and Wendy said “How I wished I could give you a real kiss!”
“If you do, I will keep it secure in my pocket,” he said.
They overheard the pirates talking about having Tiger Lily chained to a rock. The rising tide would drown her. Peter Pan shouted through a seashell, imitating Captain Hook’s voice. ordering them to “Set her free!” The pirates did, though they were confused about why Hook would say that. The real Captain Hook showed up, and asked where Tiger Lily was. They told him they thought he had ordered Tiger Lily to be set free. Peter Pan shouted at Hook and they played a guessing game about who Peter was. They sang a duet together, with Peter singing “Let’s get on with the fighting — I’m bored!”
Peter soared about the stage, landing now and then, as they both sang. Captain Hook got behind Peter and hit him, but then Hook heard the ticking of the croc again. One of the pirates saw a small boat, a dinghy, and said “Carpe dinghy!” or “Seize the dinghy!” Peter said he could not fly because he was wounded.
If this is your final moment,” Wendy told him, “I want to tell you I am so happy you brought me here.’ Peter saw a kite, and sent Wendy back to where The Lost Boys were, with John and Michael, to keep her safe from danger. Then, the show headed to another commercial break.
Back on Neverland after the break, The Lost Boys asked Wendy to read them a story. “Your father was detained,” she said.
Peter saved Tiger Lily and Tiger Lily saved him, so their two tribes were united, Peter said when he showed up. “You are the sun, the moon, and the stars,” Tiger Lily said.
“Yes, I know,” Peter replied. They both sang a duet together while the Indians and The Lost Boys danced. The choreography throughout Peter Pan Live! was fantastic! It was another terrific production number as they all sang about their friendship.
“Together, victory will be ours!” Peter said.
Wendy told him “Peter, I am so relieved that you’re back!” He assured her he was fine, and she told The lost boys to get ready to go to bed.
“It’s only pretend, isn’t it?” Peter asked.
“What?” Wendy asked him.
“That I’m their father,” he said. Wendy told him yes, then asked him if he had any “special feelings” for her. He told her that was what Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell sometimes said.
The Lost Boys wanted Wendy to tell them a story, but she said it was too late. One of The Lost Boys convinced her to sing them a song, though. It was Once Upon a Time. John and Michael told Wendy they wanted to go home, and Wendy worried that their mother and father must be missing them and wondering what had happened to them.
Mrs. Darling sat by the open window, looking out, also singing as Wendy sang. Peter Pan Live! went to yet more commercials then.
Peter Pan came back with Wendy asking Peter “to please make the necessary arrangements” for them to go back to London. Wendy asked The Lost Boys to go back with her to London, where her mother and father would adopt them.
Peter told her she was wrong about mothers and fathers. He sang a song to let her know what he meant. “Some other boy was sleeping in my bed,” he sand, “when I went home.” Apparently, his parents had another child while Peter was gone.
“When you meet your new mother, I hope you like her,” Peter told The Lost Boys. They heard the sounds of Tiger Lily and her Indian band fighting against Captain Hook and his pirates. She won and they heard the beating of a drum to signal her victory.
“Peter, I loved it here — with you. A part of me will always be here.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the island, The Lost Boys heard the beating of a drum, which they believed was Tiger Lily’s signal. Pirates came up behind Michael John, The Lost Boys and Wendy, kidnapping them all. “How do you do? James Hook, Captain of the Jolly Roger,” Captain Hook said. Hook told them that they would walk the plank, and Wendy would be “the mother.” He said that Peter Pan would not live long, because he would die from being poisoned.
Captain Hook quietly came up to Peter Pan while he was sleeping and then went away. Tinkerbell woke Peter up, saying what had happened, and mentioned “Poisoned.’ Tink drank poison to save Peter.
“Your light is so faint — I can barely hear you,” Tink told him she could perhaps get better, if children said that they believed in fairies. He told children all around the world to clap their hands and say that they believe in fairies. Then, Tinkerbell’s light was restored.
“The stakes are higher than ever before!” he said. “I shall fight them!” Peter then sang a song about saving “Wendy and the Boys,” to the tune of I’m Flying.
Captain Hook and his men gloated that “This is my hour of triumph!” However, he felt that something might happen to prevent his plans from being carried out.
He called “all hands on deck!” and he asked them “Who is the greatest villain of all time?” He sang about “Who’s the swiniest swine in the whole wide world?” His crew answered “Captain Hook!” He and his crew again danced about their ship, as they sang.
“Alas, no children love me! They make the strongest one Peter Pan, and the baby plays Captain Hook,” he sang.
“The scourge of the sea!” the crew sang. “That’s me!” Hook answered. Then, Peter Pan Live! went to another commercial break.
Aboard the Jolly Roger, The Lost Boys were all in a net. Captain Hook said that he had “room for two,” on his crew. John said “I must admit, I enjoy saying ‘Arrr!'”
Hook told John and Michael that they would have to denounce the king though, which they refused to do. He said “That seals your doom!”
“If you must die, do so as gentlemen!” Wendy told them. Then, they heard the sounds of ticking again, and Peter Pan and Tiger Lily climbed aboard the ship and hid. The ticking sound died down, and Hook was ready for the first of The Lost Boys to walk the plank. Hook ordered one of his men to go see what was making a sound, and he sent off first one, then another, of his men to investigate. They did not return.
The third man said “I would rather swing from a mast than to meet their fate.”
Finally, Captain Hook went to see for himself what had happened. He came back out, though, and said “Send the Boys in.”
“We should never have brought a girl aboard. We must break the evil spell she has cast. Take her to the plank,” Captain Hook said.
Peter Pan then appeared, calling himself “Peter Pan, the Avenger!” He and The Lost Boys, and Tiger Lily and her band of Indians, grabbed up swords and fought Captain Hook and his pirates. Wendy had one of the pirates walk the plank.
“Dark and sinister man, have at thee!” Peter Pan said to Hook, and they fought against each other. Peter used the advantage of being able to fly, finally disarming Captain Hook. “It’s not fair!” Hook said. “Who art thou?”
“I am youth! I am joy! I am freedom!” Peter told Hook. Hook acted as if he was about to hand on the children a teddy bear, then he threw it off the ship. Captain Hook jumped off the Jolly Roger, meeting the crocodile, who had reared up to get him.
Tiger Lily again called him “The sun, the moon and the stars!”
“Yes, I know,” he replied. “I say that not to boast, but because I cannot lie,” Peter Pan said. Then, the show went to more commercials.
The adult Wendy said that, in London, Mrs. Darling and Nana were still holding out hope that her children would return. She sang “But, it’s only pretend, only pretend.” She had stockings hung up, but her children did not seem like they would ever be coming back to her and her husband.
As she sang, behind her, her children had come back and joined her.
“A little less noise,’ George said. The Lost Boys had appeared at the front door, wanting to be adopted. George sang with the boys, and Mrs. Darling said “welcome to the family.”
“We have no room to spare,” Mrs Darling said.
“We’ll pretend that we do,” George sang.
“Don’t forget to come Peter! Wendy said. “I will never lock the window — I promise!”
The adult Wendy said that time was different in Neverland. She said that she grew up, but always remained true to her promise to Peter Pan. One night, Peter Pan flew through her window.
“Hello, Wendy,” he said.
“Do you have any idea how long it’s been? Wendy asked.
“It was only yesterday,” he said.
Peter Pan asked her to come back with him. she said “I forgot to fly.’
She told him that “the little girl in bed is my child.”
“What does she call you?” Peter asked her.
“She calls me her mother,” the adult Wendy answered.
Wendy’s daughter woke up and asked him to teach her how to fly. “Peter, take me with you!” she said. “Please, mother! May I go It’s just for spring cleaning!”
Wendy told her that she could go, but that when she had a daughter, she could also go, and so on, and so on.
Peter Pan Live! on NBC was the second year in a row that NBC had a live musical holiday production. It was an amazing show, with lots of terrific acting, singing and dancing. The choreography was very impressive, also, and the stage often had a lot of actors on it, but the songs and “flying” went off without a hitch. Allison Williams did a wonderful job playing the title character, Peter Pan, and Christopher Walken was equally incredible as Captain Hook. The entire cast was strong, and gave great performances.
Written By Douglas Cobb