Thursday, December 4, 2014

I'm "Watching" Peter Pan Live Tonight

Actually I have a feeling I'll be watching my Twitter and Facebook feeds because except for Christopher Walken's dance moves, I think they will be much more entertaining.

I fully admit to hating on the live broadcast of The Sound of Music last year.  I didn't mind Carrie Underwood's performance as much as the rest of America seemed to but I was loving picking apart the particular oddness of Captain Vampire Bill VonTrap, the flubbed lines, the swaying scenery, and the poorly hemmed costumes.  It was fun and it felt communal.

This year they have chosen a musical I have never really enjoyed, so I don't think it will be difficult for them to butcher it and for me to gleefully shred it to bits.  There are oh so many reasons already that I'm looking forward to this train wreck.  Here are a few!

1. Allison Williams.

I love her on Girls.  Her amazingly awkward interactions with the other actors on the show and her vulnerabilities make it tough for me to root against her character Marnie even though at times she portrays a less than stellar member of the human race.  The problem I have with her cast as Peter is simple.  I can't get Marnie's renditions of Edie Brickell's "What I Am" or "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent out of my head.  These were both moments of the character at her most awkward and out there and left me with the impression that Allison Williams is the right choice for a commercial jingle, but not a stage play or a huge broadcast.  In truth I wouldn't like anyone male or female singing "I Won't Grow Up", and the fact that they have added even more songs to the show makes me cringe a little.

More than a little.

I feel this will be an like a "very special episode" of Girls with an extended performance piece called "Marnie's bi-curious exploration of community theatre."

I can't wait to hate it.

2. The choice of Peter Pan as this year's live action publicity stunt (event).

I don't get how they thought this was a great family show.  I know this is musical that children love blah blah, but if they were going to completely change the show and add and remove songs and characters they could've done away with Tiger Lily and all of the Indians.  I always found them boring and now as an adult I find the songs (likely even with their lyric changes by a "native American consultant") offensive.  I want to watch some big Sondheim or Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.  If they really wanted pirates how about some Gilbert and Sullivan action?  Get kids interested in operetta!  Make them wish they were Mabel!

3. Tinkerbell is computer generated.

COME ON!  There were a thousand better ways to deal with this.  Now we are going to watch people react to nothing.  That will be awesome when the graphics fail.  I not so secretly hope they do.

4. Nana is a real dog, not an actor in a dog costume.

My heart is broken because I was going to make so much fun of Nana.  Thanks for killing my joy NBC.

5. Christopher Walken.

I actually love him when he dances.  If you've never seen the Fatboy Slim "Weapon of Choice" video he hoofs his way through you should Google it now.  Plus I want to hear him Walken his way through the dialog.  I imagine he knows how very zany he could make his Hook.  I fully expect him to be chewing every bit of the scenery.  That's cool.  I hope he gets a very big hook.

I will love to love him even if he's terrible because he's got cajones to take on this role.  And they're dancing' cajones.

6. There appear to be some actual kids in the cast rather than the usual short 30 year olds trying to pass as kids.  I like kid actors.  This could launch the careers of good ones and even if they are bad I'll laugh it off as wacky kids.  I want them to be superheroes and rescue the adult actors who forget their lines or drop a prop.

7. I have a very good feeling my friend Michael Martin will be watching and Facebooking his marvelous wit and acid tipped tongue.  I also bet a lot of you will be watching, texting and tweeting with me.  Good or bad everyone will be talking about a live theatre event tonight and kids will be amazed at a boy (who is actually a girl from Girls) that can fly.  Even if they are watching a stupid computer generated Timkerbell.  That means work for my theatre friends and that is the real reason these things excite me.

I don't expect a lot but I know I will be entertained either by the show or by the reactions to it.  Win/win.

Off I go to Neverland folks!

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