(Esther Zuckerman’s article appeared in Entertainment Weekly, 11/18.)
In addition to classics like “I Won’t Grow Up” and “I’m Flying,” NBC’s upcoming live production of Peter Pan will feature some songs unfamiliar even to those who wore out their VHS copies of the Mary Martin movie.
Peter Pan Live! enlisted Amanda Green—the daughter of one of Peter Pan‘s original lyricists, Adolph Green, and a Broadway veteran in her own right—to help expand the show with new lyrics for pre-existing melodies. “It fleshed out the show. It deepened the characters, it kind of drove plot more—which good songs do in musicals. Amanda was just wonderful in capturing the spirit of her father and [Green's partner] Betty Comden,” executive producer Neil Meron told EW.
Change has long been part of Pan‘s production history, Meron explained. The elder Green, Comden, and composer Jule Styne added songs, including “Never Never Land,” to Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh’s score during the show’s road to Broadway back in 1954. To keep the show’s “integrity” intact for the new production, Meron and the Pan team dove into the Styne, Comden, and Green songbook to find songs they could adapt.