Review of Peter Pan at Tri-PAC Sun. 6/12 3PM, By, Mary-Beth Bacallao
Last Sunday, June 12, my two nieces, Nicole and Natalie, and nephew Joseph, joined my Mother and I at the afternoon performance of Peter Pan at the Tri-PAC theater. It was, as has been much reported, a really delightful trip to Neverland. After the show, I asked the three children to tell me about their favorite characters and parts of this musical!
Nicole, who’s 9, loved Wendy’s voice, and said, “that girl who played Wendy was so good, Aunt Mary! I wish I could sing like that!” Nicole’s 9, a third grader at St. Aloysius, who’s looking forward to starting piano/voice lessons and joining the Voices of Hope as a fourth grader. Nicole’s love of music and acting has been blossoming the last few years, and I admit to selfishly encouraging those aspects of her personality, so that I vicariously can be on stage with her someday! We talked about the programs that the Tri-PAC offers kids in acting and performance art, and on Tuesday her class attended a performance of the Frog Prince at the Tri-PAC. When we talked on Tuesday night, she was thrilled to get the chance to see some of the same actors as she had at the Peter Pan performance, and was even more excited about her own future onstage.
Natalie, age 7 and Joseph, age 6, both “loved the flying part.” All three of them agreed, “it was so cool how Peter Pan and the Lost Boys flew”! They couldn’t get their words out quickly enough and were shouting over each other to say how much they loved the play. A rousing bravo from all three!
When I decided to take them to the show on Sunday, I had a few discussions with my brother and sister-in-law about Joseph’s comfort during the three-hour performance, as he’s recently been diagnosed with ADHD. Of course I’m biased, but I know Joseph is a loving, generous boy with a great sense of humor, so seeing him face behavioral challenges and constant discipline has been one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life. But on Sunday, Joseph was mesmerized by the Neverland scenes played out on stage. He watched, rapt, as Peter Pan leaped, Tinkerbell saved the day, and Captain Hook was foiled by Tiger Lily and a larger-than-life crocodile.
I was so glad they all had a good time, but it was Joseph who showed me, once again, that art and theater, playtime and fantasy, are great equalizers in life. We all need to take time out to suspend our disbelief, to look past what everyday life hands us, and remember we’re more alike than we are different. Wonder and creativity trump fitting in any day.
Tri-County Performing Arts Center, a non-profit 501(c)(3) performing arts organization located at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, introduced the ‘Fly to Never Land’ Challenge. The financial goal for this initiative is $20,000. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, every dollar donated will be matched 100%, up to a total of $5,000. Please support the arts in Pottstown!
Village Productions is also offering acting camp for kids this summer so stop in and see what is available for your aspiring little thesbians!