Flying high over the Mission City Center for Performing Arts stage, Roberta Jones Junior Theatre has opened its spring show, the much-loved Sir James M. Barrie classic tale, Peter Pan – the story of a boy who refuses to grow up, takes the Darling children on an adventure to Neverland, and saves them from walking the plank off a pirate ship.
With music by Moose Charlap, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, RJJT outdid itself with a fantastic, memorable show.
Splitting the role of the mischievous Peter Pan, were Bethany Springs (last seen as a Pick-a-Little Lady in The Music Man) and Justin Wood (who was Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.). Wood, who consistently gets better in every RJJT performance, was wonderful as the leader of The Lost Boys (Maya Collins, Alexander Yang, Tamara Pantic, Sofic Jakovcevic, Alex Cassidy and Nicholas Caldwell) and took on the vicious Captain Hook (Michael Kennedy, last seen as the King in Sleeping Beauty) with charm and charisma.
Kennedy, another performer who has grown leaps and bounds since his first Roberta Jones performance, tackled the role of Hook, and had a solid outing as evil pirate who is terrified of one particular crocodile (Joanna Fung).
Then there are the Darling children – Wendy (Deepa Sridhar), John (Ben Burkhardt) and Michael (Mateo Urquidez). Sridhar, last seen as Marian Paroo in The Music Man, continued to impress with her lovely voice and talent, while Burkhardt and Urquidez did well as Wendy’s younger siblings.
Claire Stone, who was last part of The Little Mermaid’s technical crew, was Peter Pan’s right hand Indian, as she and her tribe (Luke Anderson, Genevieve Bumgarner, Stephanie Chee, Erin Evans, Davis Fischer, Dayna Flores, Fung, Samantha Girard, Josh Heldt, Belle Heldt, Leyla Hidalgo, Stefan Laborde, Rhea Molugu, Zach Penrod, Tyler Penrod, Laine Russell, Kiara Thorp, Rebekah Uyleman and Sean Wainzinger) helped save the day upon learning that Hook captured The Lost Boys and Darling children.
Of course, the Darlings can’t live in Neverland forever and eventually return home to their parents (Kennedy and Samantha Kinley), dog Nana (Bella Kolodzieski) and maid Liza (Samantha Girard), with a few new family members. The Lost Boys join the Darling clan and Peter Pan is never heard from again…until Wendy has a child of her own (Sophia McDaniel).
Peter Pan is one of the most outstanding productions RJJT has put on in the last few years. With flying effects and standout students, Peter Pan has become one of the more notable shows in recent history.
RJJT’s presentation of Peter Pan continues March 29 at 7 p.m. and 30 at 2 p.m., but online tickets are completely sold out, but there may still be a few seats available. Call Kevin Cornelius at 408-615-3161 for ticket information. RJJT will next produce Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids, June 13-15. Visit www.rjjt.org for additional information.