NBC is going back to the honey pot, so to speak, with the airing of another musical, Peter Pan Live! The network scored big ratings with The Sound of Music Live! to the tune of 22 million viewers (with only half of those hate-watching), and this is not Peter Pan’s first rodeo. It first was performed live for broadcast in 1955 to an astounding 65 million viewers.
Peter Pan has captured the imagination of children and adults alike for 112 years. He is described as “a beautiful boy with a beautiful smile, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that flow from trees”. He is the boy who refuses to grow up, the leader of the Lost Boys, he hangs out with mermaids and fairies, and fights pirates. Can any performer ever do justice to such a magical creature? Off to Never, Neverland.
That said, a woman has traditionally played Peter Pan and NBC’s production will not stray from tradition. Allison Williams (Girls) is set to don the vest and shiny, green bike shorts to play the boy who never grew up. Williams is no stranger to accusations of nepotism, and those same accusations arose when she was cast as Peter. Her father is NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams after all.
While I think Williams was hired based on her talent, rather than her lineage, here are five other performers that could have filled Peter’s little getaway boots too.
Taylor has both the pipes and the elfin qualities to pay Peter. Taylor would be a major score for NBC since she is pretty much unstoppable these days–her latest album, 1989, debuted at No. 1 and gave Tay-Tay the highest selling album of 2014. Taylor would come with a built-in audience and could bring viewers up to that magical 65 million level.
In a 1998 survey, 54.4 per cent of Icelanders said they believed in the existence of elves. One look at singer/songwriter/actress Bjork and its easy to see why there are stories of Icelanders whose ancestors bred with the Huldufolk. Bjork has a huge voice and a theatrical quality to all of her videos (see “It’s Oh So Quiet,” directed by Spike Jonze featuring Busby Berkeley style choreography). This pint-sized singer would bring an other-worldliness quality to Pan. It’s perfectly plausible that Bjork actually came from the land “second star to the right and straight on till morning”.
Yes, Chris Colfer is a man, but he has all the qualifications and slight frame to play Peter. One of the reported reasons why a woman plays Peter is so actual children could play the Darling children and lost boys. Chris has paid his dues in musical theatre playing Kurt in Glee for the past 5 years. In fact, Colfer has already played Peter Pan on an episode of Glee that he also wrote called “Old Dog New Tricks”.
Katy Perry/Zooey Deschanel
These two come as a duo. They are practically interchangeable in looks, and both can sing, act and wear the hell out of a pair of tights. They can rotate as the lead and understudy, based on their busy filming and touring schedules. Katy may have the edge as to being the lead. She has experience with wirework performing “Walking on Air” on her 2014 Prismatic Tour.
She may be the loophole for Peter Pan being played by a woman. Courtney is the stage name for Shane Jenek and is a drag queen and pop star that has appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Australian Idol. Granted, Courtney may have to tone things down for prime time television (her hit song is called “Rub Me Wrong”). In her own words, she can “look good, sing good and dance good”. It’s time to give the men a chance to put on the pointy ears.
Who do you think should have played Peter Pan?