Saturday, July 13, 2013

Not a Review: Fly!

I recently watched one of the previews for the Dallas Theater Center's new musical, Fly!, a retelling of the Peter Pan story.

Peter Pan and Wendy book cover - public domain image

I liked it.  I found the first meet-Peter scene a little hard to follow (who are all these dancers with drums?), but after I got used to the show's conventions, I began to get into it.  The conventions?  Things like, this story is American not English, present-day not Edwardian, and we're flying with this great big harness so get over it! and the constant presence of who are these dancers with drums?  You just hafta go with it.

The drums, the dancing, clever and well-presented songs and dialogue, all enjoyable.  I absolutely loved the set!  But it was when the pirates and their ship very cleverly appeared that I was (you should pardon the pun) Hooked.

Hook himself was great - as were all the kid actors, most notably Wendy and Peter.  (I was glad to see a friend among the adult pirates, who was terrific.)

The set, by Anna Louizos, is a veritable thicket of bamboo: clever, flexible wagons made of bamboo and concealed steel, that are admirably responsive to action and to light, and just a gee-wiz! fun kids' tree house sort of environment.  Perfect.

The show, I think, needs a bit of polish here and there.  For one thing: why do the pirates leave? For another, the Peter/poison situation just sorta (pun alert) peters out.  But the set is ready for Broadway right now.  Some parts of the show need no tweaking at all - Hook's story about the crocodile is a clever reference to the classic version of the story, the use of modern slang is often amusing and apt, and the swamp woman's scene and especially her disappearance is spectacular!  All in all, Fly! is worth watching.

Speaking of Anna Louizos, she was another speaker at the Broadway Masterclass; I promise I'll write a post on her talk soon.

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