A text like Peter Pan banks on wonder, given an audience of children who would be overwhelmed by the idea of flight. But it also banks on an adult audience that can go back to an amount of youthful innocence, given the familiar. Of course this familiarity can also be this text’s undoing, owing to its many versions, some more iconic than others (think Robin Williams as Peter). Any staging / rendering / version then can only really be successful in light of this kind of intertextuality: an audience will bring to this text everything – big or small, major or minor – that they know about the text. And it’s entirely possible that in the end this will only mean a harsh judgment of the version that unfolds in front of them.
Or not. Repertory Philippines’ Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure is difficult to put down, even when you’re a jaded adult. Of course it could’ve just been me, ready as I was to be fascinated by the flying this production was treating the audience to. But there were other things here that were wonderful too, if not surprisingly seamlessly done by the production.