Friday June 23rd 2017

“Peter Pan” as never seen before

For many of us and our children and our grandchildren, “Peter Pan” is a story that we grew up on- in book, animated version ( Disney) and of course the live stage versions ( first Mary Martin, followed by Sandy Duncan and then followed by Cathy Rigby) and recently, here im Chicago a new version by Lookingglass Theatre, but now, something unique is headed to our city, a 360 degree version of “Peter Pan” featuring 23 actors, stunning puppetry, a new score and flying sequences in a theater set in a tent with almost a surround theater atmosphere. This is a first for Chicago and for 8 weeks, starting April 29th, this spectacular tent will be sitting on the Tribune property at 650 W. Chicago Avenue ( just east of Halsted).

The tent will hold roughly 1300 people and is in the round with 15,000 feet of hi-res video ( that’s larger than the I-Max screens) allowing the audience to take the journey from London to Neverland with Peter,Wendy John and Michael. This production which began in London ( where “Peter” was born, in 2009 and has traveled to the united States ( San Francisco and Atlanta) and now, it is on its way here. The tent will also have a Pavilion area where food and drink will be made available and from what we were told, a “candyland atmosphere” in this area that will make all adults feel like kids again.

“Peter Pan” was written by J.M. Barrie ( original title “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow up”) and has lived in our minds and our hearts for 100 years. The character was created by Barrie as a memorial to his brother who dies in an ice skating accident and Never-Never land is a place that many of us think about from time to time. Let’s face it, most of us are kids at heart and all we need is a little prodding to bring us back to our youth. This spectacular version of the story which brings the audience almost into the action will be a perfect experience for child and adult and certainly sounds as if it will me a memory that will be shared for a lifetime.

Some of the unique features of a production like this is the high tech used to make it all happen-

The tent is 100 feet high, 200 computers were used to create the images in a matter of four weeks ( one computer would have taken eight years), it takes 12 projectors to deliver th 360 degree projection and 400 square miles of virtual London ( circa 1904) were rendered to make us feel that we are back in time floating over London with Peter and the Darlings.

I know that I am looking forward to reviewing the production and I am sure that you will want to get your tickets as soon as you can. The tickets will range from $20- $75 ( making it a family friendly show) and there are no bad seats. The show will run from April 29th through June 19th ( and possibly a bit longer) and you can buy your tickets NOW! Visit any of the Broadway in Chicago box offices, or www.BroadwayInChicago.com and www.paterpantheshow.comor by phone at 1-888-PPANTIX. On Wednesday shows, there is an opportunity to view a “behind the scenes”Into Neverland” tour.

This seems like a “do not miss” opportunity to see something old and new and very futuristic.

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