I enjoy reading bloggers with enthusiasms for childhood icons of children's literature. For some it is Oz or Alice but for me it was (and is) Peter Pan.
I do not have a distinct memory of seeing Disney's version as a child but I did have the LP (we had all of them) and I loved that album. Head Mouseketeer, Jimmy Dodd narrated the story and, like the other LPs in the series, the story with pictures from the movie, was bound in to the album cover in book fashion. (Wikipedia says Dodd wrote the theme song for Zorro. I did not know that!)
I have vivid memories of my pre-k self "flying" around our living room, bouncing from one piece of furniture to the next. Gosh, my mom was tolerant!
I know I saw Mary Martin fly across our TV screen and the idea of "flying" caught my imagination again. As an older child I was treated to a performance of the musical at a theater in Anaheim, Calif. It was across the street from Disneyland I think Jane Powell was Peter.
When my kids were very young I tried to get tickets to a nearby high school's production of the musical Peter Pan but to my dismay discovered the tickets were sold out -- a high school show sold out! This school's theater program was very ambitious. They were "flying" the actors.
I still keep up with all things Peter. I enjoyed the movies, Finding Neverland, Hook and the 1993 version of Peter Pan. I still have to read Peter and the Shadow Thieves and I have Peter Pan in Scarlet on my mp3 player. I listened to J.V. Hart's Capt. Hook and thought it was long but interesting.
I was reminded of my ongoing enthusiasm as I embarked on a search for music for a young mezzo soprano. This is the time of year when singers begin a study of Broadway music. Ingenue songs are more frequently written for sopranos so finding songs for the lower range of the mezzo which also fit the musical maturity of a young singer is challenging.
Sorry, I just can't see a 16 year old with the gravitas to carry off "I'm Still Here" from Follies.
I am also a curmudgeon about current Broadway musical stylings and young voices. The current style of musical belting (either on American Idol or Broadway) does not showcase young voices IMHO nor does it bode well for the long term survival of the musical pipes.
But what do I know?
All this led me to rediscover Mary Martin. Peter Pan is still available (and in my car now) and I-tunes has her recording Hi-Ho available. Her Annie Get Your Gun is pure gold.
What a talent.
As I pointed out to the young mezzo, every note is pure and every lyric is crystal clear. I heard Frederica von Stade refer to Martin as an "operatic" broadway singer on a local program recently. It is probably too much to hope I will hear "Never Never Land" at the recital at the end of the year, but I can hope.