Written by Phil Cerroni
This is not Walt Disney's Peter Pan.
Instead of Tiger Lily, eerie enigmas inhabit the peripherals of Fly, Dallas Theater Center’s (DTC) atmospheric, musical adaptation of the J.M. Barrie play.
Although the story is recognizable from the collective memory of literature, stage and film, playwright Rajiv Joseph infuses Fly with his characteristic themes of loss and growth as well as his caustic yet tender dialog.
In this modern rendition, Wendy (11-year-old Isabela Moner) is not the perfect, Darling daughter you may remember. On the contrary, she begins the play grounded for skipping school and getting into fights. As Peter Pan (Grant Venable) whisks her away from the frustrating world of adults and into her fantasies, her cautious brother John (Austin Karkowsky) is enticed to come on the adventure in hopes of finding their lost brother, Michael, who Peter says may be in Neverland.
Soon after her arrival, Wendy learns to avoid Neverland’s less savory inhabitants including Mami Wata, Marcy Harriell’s sensual, maternal voodoo priestess, and Captain Hook’s not-so-fearsome pirates, a ragtag group of soccer dads who traded their boring, grown up lives for adventure on the high seas.
Moner gracefully grows into the seriousness of children forced to mature too quickly, bringing a delicate emotional honesty to the role of Wendy.
Bradley Dean brings a new dimension to Hook. Unrelenting but riddled with self doubt, he searches for a new cook and an elixir to stop aging. This Hook can be become stern and even cruel in an instant, but he is no sociopath.