Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust: A Review of Peter Pan at North American tour

Broadway in Louisville's "Peter Pan" features Nolan Almeida and Hawa Kamara in a delightful new production that promises to whisk audiences away from the burdens of "adulting" to a world where you never have to grow up. No need for a magical journey to the second star to the right—just head to the Nederlander Theatre to experience this enchanting performance.

The latest adaptation of "Peter Pan" retains all the heart and warmth of its beloved predecessors while introducing fresh surprises to captivate even the most seasoned fans of the story.

Nolan Almeida stars as the perpetually youthful Peter Pan, who bursts into the Darling children's bedroom in search of his rogue shadow and his mischievous fairy companion, Tinkerbell—a twinkling light that showcases impressive technical wizardry. Peter quickly befriends Wendy (Hawa Kamara) and persuades her, along with her brothers John (William Foon) and Michael (Reed Epley), to join him on an adventure to Never Never Land, leaving behind their workaholic father, Mr. Darling (Cody Garcia), and their complacent mother, Mrs. Darling (Shefali Deshpande). A sprinkling of fairy dust sends the children soaring, singing "I'm Flying" as they head toward a land of eternal youth.

The flying scenes are particularly spectacular. The cast is hoisted on wires, with the bedroom set transforming into a floor-to-ceiling screen that displays an exhilarating animation sequence, creating the sensation of a rollercoaster ride through cityscapes and outer space.

Other special effects are equally impressive. One standout moment is Peter's reunion with his shadow, a scene recreated from the popular animated film with seamless choreography and synchronized flying that delightfully surprises the audience.

While the special effects are a highlight, the humor is equally captivating. Cody Garcia's Captain Hook, with his Scottish brogue and gangly limbs, is a comically menacing presence who sings beautifully. His interactions with the bumbling Smee (Kurt Perry), who squeals in fear at the sight of Hook's hook, provide consistent laughs. The show also features a slack-jawed talking moon, a ticking crocodile (Christina Hélène Braa) with a taste for pirate flesh, and outlandish battles between pirates and Peter's Lost Boys, all of which contribute to the show's comedic charm.

The young cast delivers exceptional performances. Hawa Kamara as Wendy is bright and effervescent, lighting up the stage with her smile. William Foon and Reed Epley are utterly adorable as Wendy's brothers. Nolan Almeida's Peter Pan, with a New York City accent reminiscent of a flying "Newsie," brings boundless energy to the role, making him a character any child in the audience can relate to.

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