Category Archives: J. M. Barrie

“Neverland”

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In light of the tragic kidnapping of hundreds of young schoolgirls

recently, taken from their schools, you may wish to escape from our

current reality. Once you hear that the evil men, who are part of the

Nigerian “Taliban,’ are threatening to sell those girls and possibly

force them into ‘prostitution’ or to become child ‘wives’…

We all may wish to return to “Neverland!”

I was channel surfing between the semi-finals on “The Voice,” and

the fun, musical show, “Glee,” when I spotted Tim Conway and a few

other elderly, fine actors. “Glee” has been located in New York City,

since the members have graduated from high school and are pursuing

their theater dreams.

I noticed Tim Conway amidst a scene of nursing home residents, a

special retirement home for past performers. The young, thin man

in “Glee’s” cast, who has an excellent voice, was needed since

the person who had been cast as “Peter Pan” in the nursing home’s

theater production had, unfortunately, just passed away. In a rather

bizarre setting, too. The character who was playing “Peter Pan” was

in his ‘flying gear,’ having died while suspended in his harness.

I was mentally whisked away to the days when musicals were played

on my parents’ stereo. I felt like I was listening to Mary Martin

singing, in her role as “Peter Pan.” I was so happy that I ‘stayed’

(and did not flip back to watch, “The Voice,”) with the “Glee” show,

in its Season Finale. When I discovered the scene where one elderly

woman, a reoccurring role as “Maggie” I wanted to see who the actress

was. Her name is June Squibb, and she was singing “Wendy’s” role. At

some time in her young life, she had actually portrayed, (shown in a

brief back and forth camera shot movement from the stage to the nursing

home’s bulletin board with real photos of the original theater roles)

the youngest of the “Darling” family. The showed June Squibb, as a cute

little girl with a bow in her page boy haircut.

Kurt (Chris Colfer) has visited Maggie, the elderly woman who lives in

this retirement home, a few times before this show. Maggie’s character is

of a past Broadway legend, who encourages Kurt, when he has been challenged

by being turned down for try-outs. Last night, he had been ‘shot down’ by

his friend, Rachel (played by Lea Michelle), not able to be included in a

simple fundraiser for a dog pound.

Each time the camera panned back and forth from the present older aged

adult in the cast or audience watching the home’s production, they would

go back to the bulletin board black and white photograph. I took a quick

glance at the older person and tried to imagine them in the roles while

children.

In my Roger and Ebert Movie Reviews Guidebook, they accidentally list

“Tom” Conway, instead of Tim Conway, as the man who voiced the part of the

“Narrator,” in the 1953 animated “classic” version of “Peter Pan.”

Do you know why? Because Tim Conway was born Thomas Daniel Conway!

He used his real, birth name in the cartoon version of “Peter Pan!”

An ‘Extra Bonus Fact’ about Tim Conway is that he was born in

Willoughby, Ohio on 12/15/1933. Go Ohio!

Tim Conway wears a crocodile costume in the “Glee” version of the

play and appears kind of senile, leaning forward with a rather goofy

expression on his face. This playful performance and his ‘take’ on

the older male character was quite endearing.

I remember in one of my theater trips in Cleveland, going to see, “Peter

Pan.” It was not with Mary Martin playing the role of Peter, but the

fine actress and singer, Sandy Duncan.

I will not go into the two different adult psychological directions

that have been taken from the sweet story of “Peter Pan.”

If you wish to know more about the “Wendy Syndrome” of the “Peter Pan

Syndrome” you may be interested in researching farther on those

subjects on your own.

I will let you in on a few more facts about “Peter Pan,” though. The

author, J.M. Barrie, did include the character of “Peter Pan,” in 1902

in a novel called, “The Little White Bird.” There is a lovely illustration

on Wikipedia from that book.

Later, it was published in 1904, as a play production known as “Peter Pan

or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

Now, let’s sing together, “I won’t grow up, I don’t want to go to school,

for growing up…”

Wish we could all escape to childhood…

Maybe not the dangers of “Captain Hook,” his band of pirates and the

crocodile who swallowed a clock, though.