Broadway tickets online have been a great way to find tickets for classic stage plays. But it is nice to be able to see our favorite plays put into television and film versions. Such is the case with “Peter Pan.” Producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, are developing the hit stage play into a television movie for ABC.
These producers have their work cut out for them. I say this with some personal experience with this play. I played the role of Captain Hook in a high school production. I’ve also seen the Mary Martin version from 1960.
The simple fact is that the original play is extremely corny. Although the story has become something heavily ingrained in our culture, I think we forget just how square the original material is. I foresee some real changes needed to update the script to a modern audience.
The other big challenge is the fact that the role of Peter Pan has been played by a woman, with a score written for a woman’s voice. But I’m convinced that this really won’t work with a modern audience, especially on television with close-ups of the actors.
So they’ve got their work cut out for them. But they’ve got a lot of experience with this, having brought “Cinderella,” “The Music Man” and “Hairspray” to film, with varying degrees of success. Ultimately I think it comes down to the writer’s ability to translate the original writer’s intentions into a working and contemporary rendition of the classic material. Let’s hope it works.