We made it through the first performance of Peter Pan this afternoon! The play went exceptionally well, too. I admit to having some doubts after last night’s Dress Rehearsal, but today’s performance was wonderful! Alex did a terrific job as Captain Jas. Hook, and Faith, who also played a pirate, delivered her lines perfectly. I am so proud of both of them! The other actors did fantastic jobs, as well. I think they all had a lot of fun, and from what I could tell, the audience enjoyed it thoroughly.
The version of Peter Pan they chose was the original screenplay by J.M. Barrie. I don’t guess I’d ever actually seen the original before. It was delightful, to put it mildly. One of the things that impresses me most is the idea woven throughout the play of how important mothers are. The Lost Boys and Pirates all wanted Wendy to be their mother. In one scene, the Lost Boys are discussing their own mothers, and all of them are sure that their mother was prettier and better than any other. Even Peter, who is sure that all mothers forget their children, comments in Act V that Wendy’s mother is a pretty lady, but not as pretty as his own mother.
The character of Wendy embodies so perfectly that delicate time of life when a young girl takes her first steps into womanhood. Her mothering of the Lost Boys is a mirror image of how her own mother cared for her. And although she is still just a little girl, her heart is beginning to explore more grown-up emotions. She repeatedly asks Peter questions about what she is to him and what his feelings for her are. He is ever the little boy, consistently answering that she is his "mother", and he, her "devoted son". Obviously hoping for something more, she is visibly disappointed. Peter calls her "puzzling". (Go figure!)
J.M. Barrie was a genius. He captured perfectly the tumultuous, mystical journey from childhood to adulthood. Don’t we all have difficulty letting go of our childhood fantasies of Pirates, Indians, Fairies, Mermaids and Flying? Don’t we all wish, at least from time to time, that we could fly out of our windows to Neverland, and as Peter so poetically puts it, "ride the wind’s back" and say "funny things to the stars"? And yet, no amount of adventure can ever really take the place of our mother. Deep inside, we all need to come home.