Well folks, it happened. Months of waiting and anticipating and dreading NBC’s live version of Peter Pan culminated in a two hour show last night, and boy did we have a lot of thoughts on it. Like last year’s Sound of Music Live! special, Peter Pan dominated social media last night and we’re still talking about it today. But if you didn’t get a chance to watch with the other millions of folks who tuned in, here’s your opportunity to join in on the conversation with our own recap/liveblog/laterblog of the show (queue up your DVRs or streaming devices or watch on NBC.com if you want to follow along). And if you did watch it, let us know what you thought of a flying Allison Williams and dancing Walken!
Traci: I would like to say that I’ve never actually seen this version of Peter Pan, so I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. I mean I know what’s going to happen, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Molly: Allison Williams requested that our inner children watch and live tweet this program. I am watching with my 7 and 5 year old nephews and they are already rooting for disaster. You tried, Marnie.
M: Either the audio and video tracks aren’t synchronized or all of this dialogue is lip synced to Ashlee Simpson-level cruddiness.
M: The harmonies on Tender Shepherd are pretty good! The kids are so cute, but the little one seriously looks like Timmy from Passions (who was adorable, so no shade).
T: Allison Williams was on Seth Meyers promoting PP recently, talking about the kid who plays Michael and how he asked her to stop saying the F-word so much. He also told her to eat wheat bread to be healthier. That is what I am thinking about while watching this kid.
T: Kelli O’Hara ::emoji with heart eyes:: (she is Broadway royalty, get to know her)
THAT’S A REAL ACTOR DOG, Y’ALL
I will say that the production value and camera work is great so far, much better than Sound of Music last year.
“I am the master of this house!” – Mr. Darling/ Monsieur Thénardier
T: THAT’S NOT A REAL TINKERBELL, Y’ALL
Say what you will about casting, but Allison Williams is just too delightful and I don’t have it in me to say anything bad about her.
M: AW is the identical hair twin of Androgynous Gym Girl, my college gym’s resident elliptical hog. A.G.G. had that haircut because it was the most workout-efficient, we theorized. And she only ate foods in bar or shake form because they metabolized better. Again, all conjecture. She just really loved that elliptical. Bitch.
T: Yo, Tink is a little bitch, doe.
M: Okay, Gotta Crow was sort of charming. I probably would have had a weird crush on this Peter Pan when I was 10. Crushed on a LOT of gay musical theater boys, y’all.
T: How do babies just “fall out” of their carriages??? #LostBoysMoreLikeDumbBoys
“Girls are much too clever to fall out of their carriage” BUT WAIT THIS IS SO TRUE
M: My 7-year-old nephew just says that Peter “has more magic than my Elf on the Shelf, even.” Okay, Allison Williams. You win this round.
T: Whoa, I had like a nervous moment for AW when she went up in the flying rig for the first time. This is live television anything could go wrong. You’ve seen that YouTube fail from the high school production of this show, right?!? That’s what I’m picturing. This is obviously very different.
M: Screw it. I’m Flying is charming as hell.
T: Guys, AW is great. Whatever. I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS ABOUT THAT I’M FLYING SONG GOING INTO NEVERLAND THIS IS AMAZING. But also, stop integrating Shazam into my programs.
M: The 4-year-old just asked why they are flying over one of those Christmas villages. Shut it down, we have a baby live blogger on our hands.
T: How do I get this miniature London cityscape outside my french windows?
T: Melissa Joan Hart has scored a series of commercials during Peter Pan Live promoting WalMart with her real family. Yes, her real family, and the internet went crazy for her attractive husband. My friend Scott had a perfect explanation for this:
T: That is actually Christopher Walken on an NBC live musical special on TV.
T: Christian Borle (Smee/Mr. Darling) look like he could be in Rock of Ages
M: Well, the children aren’t scared of Captain Hook, but I am. Christopher Walken on a boat? Am I the only one still sketched out about the whole Natalie Wood thing?
T: What I love about Walken is that whoever he plays, he plays it brilliantly but still very Walken-y. Amazing. Also, he’s not even singing HAHAHA I LOVE IT.
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD TAP DANCING THERE IS TAP DANCING I’M CRYING
M: This soundstage is so amazing that I want to hide out and sleep in it, Basil E. Frankweiler-style.
M: The 7-yr-old nephew would like to know how the Lost Boys got dance lessons if they don’t have parents. Fair point.
T: So many Newsies! Like actual Newsies. Like the Newsies who were on Broadway.
M: I love the cheesy island scenery. I mean that non-ironically. It reminds me of 1960s fantasy kitsch, like It’s A Small World.
M: So do they have to return the crocodile to Rainforest Cafe after, or.. ?
T: THAT’S NOT A REAL CROCODILE Y’ALL.
M: Something feels so wrong about a group of Lost Boys that look, you know, probably sexually active. And the Lost Boys are already forcing the virgin/whore/mother dynamic on Wendy. Congrats, kids. You’ve had a girl for all of 5 minutes and it’s already a patriarchal society.
Again, the LBs are all very good, but this works better when they cast Lost Boys who don’t have 401(K)s already.
T: Random aside: Bri Willy took the night of from the NBC Nightly News to watch AW in her big show. He said, “We will be watching the broadcast – immediate family only – sequestered in an undisclosed location – close enough to the production as to burst through the stage door the moment the credits roll.” CAN U NOT. I STILL CAN’T GET OVER HIM ANNOUNCING SHE WAS GOING TO BE PETER PAN ON TV.
M: EW. Wait a few minutes; when the grown-ass pirates start yo-hoing about stealing Wendy for their mother the Lost Boys don’t look so bad.
M: The Lost Boys are so old that their ratty Neverland clothes are looking like hipstery club clothes. Like a troupe of Lost Bois.
T: Anything that Walken does with his one hook is hilarious to me, apparently. Like this hitting the tambourine mess, I can’t.
… He’s not holding that major note right?? He is. He’s definitely doing that. Fun fact: they do something similar to this in Peter and the Starcatcher, which is a play about making the play of Peter Pan. Christian Borle won a Tony for playing Black Stache in it.
LOLZ TO THEM CUTTING BACK TO WALKEN HOLDING THE NOTE IN THE MIDDLE OF COMMERCIALS
M: On a scale from one to America, how racist is the Native American stuff going to be?
T: Because of social media, we are treated with gems from celebrities such as Anna Kendrick, who just gets it.
T: Is this where that Ugg a Wugg song is supposed to be? I appreciate that the producers hired a Native American consultant for this to rework the lyrics. Respect for not being racist.
M: The Native American stuff was, like, Pocahontas- level racist? The Disney movie not the historical figure.
T: For someone who doesn’t like to be touched, Peter does a lot of partner dancing.
T: I love that the mic picked up everyone’s heavy breathing after that big dance number. Theatre kids – they’re real people too.
M: During the commercial I made my Lost boys some hot cocoa, and I missed a little but came back for the best musical theater lesbian duet since Take Me Or Leave Me.
M: My sister-in-law came in and asked if they’ve been speaking in English accents the whole time and scout’s honor, I could not answer. Not sure if that says more about me or the production – and for the record, I find the production magical as heck.
M: I aimed for Wendy’s bangs in 1997, so I kind of know what I’m talking about, and those puppies require some serious round brush action.
M: Marnie has some nice vibrato! If only Wendy’s cleavage weren’t looming over her. Dawson casting at its finest.
T: Yeah wait, what’s the timeline for this? How long have they been gone? Why isn’t there a search party out for the Darling kids? Mrs. Darling is gonna be all, “I saw a suspicious man about the size of my fist a couple days ago…”
M: The song they sing about Hook is totally the same as the Gaston song from Beauty And The Beast.
T: “Who’s the creepiest creep in the world?” honestly never knew how amazing some of these lines were.
M: I don’t know how these child actors can memorize lines, nail blocking, learn choreography and execute stunts, and the kids I’m watching this with can’t even SIT STILL and PAY ATTENTION for one measly three-hour musical event.
M: My favorite weird Peter Pan is still the Baby Sitters Club Super Special where they performed it at SMS, but you know what? This comes close.
M: This battle sequence has been going on a while but the Lost boys have been able to prep for it ever since John’s scar started tingling. Total Sorcerer’s Stone vibes.
T: It makes sense that the part that makes me tear up is when Hook throws Michael’s teddy bear into the ocean.
T: UPDATE ON THE CROC FROM THE QUEEN THAT IS LAURA BENANTI:
M: The kids’ mom is singing, and I’m almost expecting Sister Suffragette thanks to her costume. The kids come back, which is more than these garbage parents with the dog babysitter deserve. Just as garbage as the McCallisters, if you ask me.
T: On the real tho, if 12 rando boys came into your house and presented you with a single sock and then started singing and dancing would you actually take them in as your own? Mr. Darling’s answer to that is yes.
M: No wonder she raised Wendy to be such a pushover. Also the lost boys are all like 24 years old. So way to go, Mrs. Darling, you now live in an Edwardian frat house.
M: I didn’t know Minnie Driver would be in this! It makes me hate, a little less, the part where Wendy grows up.
T: Is this the story of how it’s possible to grow up to be Minnie Driver?
You’re all grown up!
Yes, it does keep a person rather earthbound.
M: Okay, overall I have to admit it. I think Allison Williams was right. I joked about the production – gently, and because that’s how I interact with the world or whatever. But I couldn’t tear it apart and honestly, I didn’t want to. Several years ago, a friend and I both discovered that we loved live action productions of Peter Pan. We’re probably not the only ones. I love magic. Whatever. No shame.
T: So in full disclosure, I know a couple people involved with this production, including one of the Lost Boys (Tootles/guy with the top hat) and it is SO WEIRD for me to see him on TV. He has been in a few Broadway shows over the past few years, and it’s amazing to see this kid I used to work with share the stage with Christopher Walken. Because of my personal connection to the production, I had an obvious bias prior to this.
Before the show tonight, he wrote a post on Facebook acknowledging that people (read: staunch Broadway nerds) will probably criticize the show’s every move more so than a regular viewer, but to keep in mind to respect the work that this cast and crew has put in over the past two months. And I took that to heart. Thinking about when I was part of a production like this (not to this scale, obvi), you put so much time and effort into it, and then for a weekend or two, you get to show the world what you’ve been working on. It must suck to have critics hate on you IMMEDIATELY thanks to social media, so in light of my retrospection and respect for my friend, I tried to refrain from saying anything bad about this show.
Good thing is – I don’t have anything bad to say at all. The production value was outstanding, which can be difficult considering live theater isn’t meant to be tape and aired on TV in the first place. I thought Allison Williams was great – I was in the camp of pro-AW upon announcement of her casting, partly because I knew she could sing and partly because I didn’t know the show well enough to judge her. The fact that 90% of the cast had been on Broadway certainly helped bring the show to life, and all in all, it was a heartwarming three-hour show that families can sit and watch together for years to come. I believe.