The University of Maryland's "Peter Pan" could hardly be more endearing. It's an ideal family show.
This is a production that could no longer be staged commercially. Under director David S. Leong, cast and crew number 75. Commercial theater cannot afford so much bodies, and though Tawes Theater has poor acoustics and was not designed by a theater architect, such productions as this indicate why college theater is becoming so vital to our country.
The version is the 1954 musical which starred Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard on stage and TV. Some of the hypes devised through the added music of Mark Charlap and Jule Styne and the lyrics of Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green are stickily mod.
But James M. Barrie's subsidiary inventions remain: children who don't want to grown up, pirates, Indians and never-never land.
At worthwhile expense, a member of England's famed Flying Foy Family, which created the initial flights, was brought in. The scenic tricks are amusing and the enthusiasm of the cast infectious. Perry Norton, 20 has the title role and she is a unisex delight.
Chip Bolcik's Mr. Darling-Captain Hook is a complementary salute to Ritchard's prankish musical original. Nancy Kahaner has an historic role in Hibs; Ruth Gordon made her bow as Nibs; Ruth Gordon made her bow as and hasn't gotten over it yet. To all hands, a salute for a spirited production of a surprisingly long-lived charmer.
Repeat performances are Oct. 12 through 14.