Friday, December 05, 2014

Peter Pan Live Had Shakespeare In It?

I know I'm a day late but my family tends to record things and watch them when it's a better time for the kids.

Last night was NBC's big #PeterPanLive event, as you may have noticed. I did not expect to blog about it.

But then this happened.  Wendy and the boys have gone with Peter to Neverland, where she is to play the role of mother and tell them the ends of all the stories.  And then...

Lost Boy #1:  Tell us the ending of Cinderella!
Wendy: Well, the glass slipper fit, and Cinderella and the Prince lived happily ever after.
All:  Hurray!
Lost Boy #2:  Tell us the ending of Sleeping Beauty!
Wendy:  The prince kisses her, and she wakes up and they all live happily ever after.
All:  Hurray!
Lost Boy #3:  Tell us the ending to Hamlet!
Wendy:  <blank stare>  Umm....well.....Hamlet dies, and the king dies, and the queen dies and Ophelia dies, and Laertes dies....
All: ...
Wendy: ....but everybody who's left lives happily ever after.
All:  Hurray!
I honestly have no idea if that's a new scene or if that is in J.M. Barrie's original in any form.


Fester said...

I don't recall the Shakespeare line in the original play and I didn't see it in Barrie's novelization. My best guess is it was added when Stanley Green and Betty Comden wrote the screenplay for the 1954 musical version.

JM said...

They added songs as well. They played fast and loose with a Classic. It was pretty awful. Between Pan's fear of hitting the next high note and Christopher approaching the role of Hook in his usual Actors Studio "dead man Walken" style,this Peter should be soundly Panned. Walken should be hoist on his own yardarm for what he did to a gift of a role.
The direction left a lot to be desired, also. A waste of effort on the part of those who *were* trying. Unforgivable--BUT you can buy the DVD!, so what NOT to do with a wonderful book and score is preserved for posterity. Yay!

APB said...

No, there's no reference to Hamlet in Barrie's original play -- which is a joy and a wonder to read and far richer and darker than the musical play would lead one to guess, and I can't recommend it strongly enough to fellow Shakespeare lovers. The phrase "happily ever after" isn't used either. But there IS a reference to Cinderella in this dialogue between Peter and Wendy. Then a little later Wendy tells all the boys the Cinderella story for bedtime.

WENDY. Peter, why did you come to our nursery window?
PETER. To try to hear stories None of us knows any stories.
WENDY. How perfectly awful!
PETER. Do you know why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. Wendy, your mother was telling you such a lovely story.
WENDY. Which story was it?
PETER. About the prince, and he couldn't find the lady who wore the glass slipper.
WENDY. That was Cinderella. Peter, he found her and they were happy ever after.
PETER. I am glad.