Memo to Masochists: NBC’s Banal Version of “Peter Pan” Set to Air Again Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]
By Larry Murray
Some loved it, and some hated it. Being a theater critic with a decidedly acidic opinion of commercial-laden and low-brow television, NBC’s made-for-TV re-telling of the classic children’s story Peter Pan was doomed from the start. Perhaps it is because Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard are no longer around to show a new generation how it is done. A wooden Christopher Walken and a smiley Allison Williams lip-synched most of the songs.
Below are five of the songs in the current television version and two from the famous earlier telecast in 1960 – Mary Martin singing “I’m Flying” and Cyril Ritchard camping it up in “Captain Hook’s Waltz.” He is also wearing the proper hook, the double one on the right hand, the one which the crocodile ate, not the single one seen on Christopher Walken’s left hand.
But what really furrowed my brow was the claim that this was going to bring a whole new audience into live theater.