By DAVID DOW BENTLEY III “The People’s Critic”
Peter Pan, the classic 1954 musical now playing at the historic Crighton Theatre in Conroe, Texas, is my first childhood memory of being fascinated by a Broadway show. Mom & Dad had been delighted at seeing it in an out-of-town preview in Philadelphia. I recall mom being additionally pleased because they had been seated in the theater near a famous actor. It was either George Montgomery or Robert Montgomery, but memory fades after sixty-six years. More importantly, our parents bought us the original cast album, and we five children just about wore that record out before our baby brother Greg arrived to join our sing-a-longs in 1958. The show is based on the 1904 play of the same name by Sir J.M. Barrie. Most of the delightful music is attributed to Moose Charlap, with Jule Styne supplying some additional music. The charming lyrics were written primarily by Carolyn Leigh, while there were additional lyrics from Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Starring Mary Martin as Peter, and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, the show would capture Tony Awards for them both. The magic of the production would reach into homes across the nation via several annual telecasts of the show.
While originally slated for performance here last summer, now, thanks to the persistence of Stage Right Productions, Montgomery County will be treated to all the fun. The company website (stage-right.org) describes the joys that await you:
Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling
children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical
journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure
of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a
fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and, of course, the villainous
The cheerful melodies you will by humming on the way home include the memorable tunes, “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land”
For a Facebook peek at a few of the talented cast’s auditions last summer, visit: https://m.facebook.com/stagerightoftexas/videos/245005626882372/ Madison Mapes continues in the lead role of Peter, but a few cast changes may have occurred since the filming. (See current cast listings below).
PETER PAN opens this weekend and runs thru December 20th, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For tickets visit www.crightontheatre.org, or call 936-441-7469. Reservations are also available at www.stage-right.org. The Crighton Theatre is located at 234 N. Main in downtown Conroe, Texas. [PLEASE NOTE: Seating will be extremely limited as the Crighton Theatre is observing all recommended COVID spacing / capacity restrictions, and patrons are requested to wear masks.]
A member of both The Lambs Club Inc. and The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), the columns of DAVID DOW BENTLEY III have appeared on Broadway websites, in newspapers from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast, and may be viewed online at the website: www.ThePeoplesCritic.com . E-mail may be directed to ThePeoplesCritic3@gmail.com.