Behind ‘Peter Pan’

first_imgIn 1904, a kind of lightning struck London’s theater scene. Tuxedo-clad audiences accustomed to somber and serious dramas were stunned by a production set in a whimsical world of make-believe, starring a band of rambunctious children.One well-known actor and producer, after reading an early version of the shocking new play, became convinced its creator had lost his mind.But Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie was perfectly sane when he introduced his land of crocodiles, fairies, pirates, and an ageless, mischievous, flying boy named Peter Pan to the London stage. And theatergoers loved it.Contemporary audiences will have the chance to experience some of that wonder this summer when the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) recaptures the spirit of the boy who would never grow up in its premiere of “Finding Neverland.” The new musical, about the real-life genesis of Barrie’s groundbreaking work, runs from July 23 through Sept. 28.Helmed by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, the musical is based on the 2004 film of the same name, which starred Johnny Depp as the free-spirited Barrie and Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the mother of four young boys whom Barrie befriends and draws on for inspiration. While visiting London’s Kensington Gardens, Barrie encounters the clan. Soon they are regular playmates, enacting the author’s imaginary scenarios in vivid detail. (In real life, Barrie became a trustee and guardian to the boys after their parents died.)For Paulus, who is known for staging productions that burst the bounds of conventional theater, the show was a natural fit. Paulus sees Barrie as a kindred spirit, an artist willing to take chances and break the rules “for great things to happen.”“I loved the behind-the-scenes aspect of this story, what it takes to create something really transformational,” said Paulus. “That appealed to me … that artistic risk-taking.”Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the former head of Miramax studios, which produced the 2004 film, is backing the project, which includes a script by James Graham, music by singer-songwriters Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, and choreography by Mia Michaels. Paulus and Weinstein first connected two years ago during his visit to Cambridge to see her A.R.T. revival of the musical “Pippin.” When he mentioned he was working on making a musical from “Finding Neverland,” Paulus watched the movie again and was hooked.But transforming a film into a stage musical is a delicate process. A 2012 attempt at adapting “Neverland” in England met with mixed reviews. Not every movie can succeed in such a makeover, explained Paulus on a recent afternoon in her A.R.T. office. The woman behind productions such as “The Donkey Show,” the disco revamp of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that has been a hit in Cambridge for years, and who won a Tony Award for best director in 2013 for her reimagined “Pippin,” appreciates the value of song. But she also appreciates when to use it.“A film can become a musical if you can see a place where a musical can express something more than the film can,” Paulus said. With “Finding Neverland,” Paulus’ way in was through Barrie’s vivid imagination, something she felt could be animated and expanded “through musical storytelling.”“That was my hook into it, no pun intended.”The show’s songs by Barlow, lead vocalist for the British pop group “Take That,” and Kennedy evoke the “1960s British pop world, ‘Yellow Submarine’-esque sounding kind of fantasy songs,” said Paulus, and are a “keyhole” into Barrie’s mind. They are also infectious. When Paulus played some of the tunes for her 7- and 10-year-old daughters last year, they “went crazy dancing all around the house.”Barrie’s imagination was also the hook (pun intended) for young playwright Graham. Best known for his plays about Great Britain’s political machinations, Graham was tapped by Weinstein after the producer attended a production of his recent political hit “This House.” They met one morning for breakfast. Not long after, Weinstein got in touch.Like Paulus, Graham was intrigued by the idea of letting Barrie’s inner child and imagination run wild on stage. “The thing I really pitched hard for was to bring a sense of childish naughtiness and silliness to the theater version … how you theatricalize that magic was really exciting.”To do that, Graham transformed some of the smaller moments in the film into large production numbers, unleashing Barrie’s fantasy world with the help of Barlow and Kennedy’s evocative music and Michaels’ creative choreography.“You take little ideas that are only fleeting in the film, and you expand upon them, and you find the theatrical language to do that,” said Graham, whose newly reworked dinner scene, among others, is sure to be a crowd favorite.In a sneak peek at what’s to come, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, clad in a silver sequined gown and surrounded by the four youngest members of the A.R.T. cast, gave a moving performance of the show’s title song “Neverland” during the 68th Tony Awards last month. Last week, sneakers and shorts were the preferred attire for Jeremy Jordon, a Broadway regular who plays Barrie and who delivered his own stirring version of the song during a rehearsal at Farkas Hall.Hudson’s Tony performance fueled industry speculation that the musical may eventually reach Broadway. Asked about the show’s future, Paulus said that for now she is “100 percent focused on making a show for the A.R.T.”But, she added, “Like everything, should it have a future life, that’s just the happy moment when you get to do it again.”“Finding Neverland” is presented by the A.R.T. by special arrangement with Harvey Weinstein.For ticket information, visit the A.R.T. website.last_img read more

Small self-selected online survey find some medical supporters of assisted suicide

first_imgOf the 300 doctors who took part, 37 per cent supported legalising AD in New Zealand. Among the 470 nurses, 67 per cent were in favour. However, if it were to become legalised in this country, training programmes and protocol should be established well in advance. up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox. These included having enough health workers trained and willing in the practice, clear protections within legislation for professionals, and guidelines and standards for practice. Those respondents also overwhelmingly saw the provision of most of that support as the responsibility of the medical and nursing professional bodies. The study, published in the NZ Medical Journal, highlighted barriers to legal AD.center_img The study involved an online survey in which there were 770 replies. The authors noted that many doctors still opposed AD, suggesting it remained far off in New Zealand. Third of NZ doctors support assisted dying – studyTVNZ One News 2 June 2017Family First Comment: Sheesh – pretty desperate for supporters of assisted suicide to promote this study!“The study involved an online survey in which there were 770 replies. Of the 300 doctors who took part, 37 per cent supported legalising AD in New Zealand. Among the 470 nurses, 67 per cent were in favour.”Hardly a voice of the medical profession!Over a third of New Zealand doctors and two-thirds of nurses support legalising assisted dying, according to an Auckland University study.Of those who would be willing in principle to provide assisted dying (AD) services, most said there should be ethical and practical support available to doctors and nurses making those decisions.That would ensure procedures were carried out correctly.last_img read more

Volleyball Lakers claim five-set win over Bishop Grimes

first_imgMaddie Waite not only had nine kills, she produced 20 digs, while Avery had seven digs. Quinlan Emhoff and Anastasiya Yauorska each finished with five kills as Maren Smith contributed four kills. Helen Hauser had three kills as she and Natalie Tresco each got five digs.It was easier for Cazenovia in Wednesday’s sweep of Altmar-Parish-Wiliamstown. The 25-16, 25-4, 25-11 victory over the Rebels included six aces from Waite and five aces from Fenton to go with her nine kills.Avery produced 17 assists and three aces, with Hauser, Emhoff and Waite getting three kills apiece. Tresco led the defense with six digs, just ahead of Fenton and Waite, with five digs apiece, and Clements, who had five assists and four digs.Cazenovia competed last Saturday in the Baldwinsville Fall Swing Tournament, part of a 28-team field divided into seven groups of four. The Lakers were paired with Wayne, Rochester Mercy (both from Section V) and Ithaca (from Section IV).Eventually, Cazenovia finished 23rd in round-robin play and, paired up with reigning state Class B champion Westhill in the Bronze bracket, lost to the Warriors in two sets. Westhill went on to defeat Jamesville-DeWitt in the Bronze division final in three sets.After all this, Cazenovia would visit Homer Monday before hosting Jordan-Elbridge Tuesday and going to LaFayette Thursday night.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story A mere two points separated the Cazenovia girls volleyball team from getting swept away in last Monday’s match at Bishop Grimes.Here, the Lakers demonstrated some newfound resilience, rallying twice and eventually topping the Cobras in five sets as part of a week where it improved its overall record to 6-1.Having won in five sets over Bishop Ludden on Sept. 19, Cazenovia found itself in a similar predicament against Grimes after dropping the first set 25-21. Tags: Cazenoviagirls volleyballcenter_img It almost got worse, but with the second set tied, the Lakers were able to win the serve back and get the point it needed to pull it out 26-24, a win that got more valuable when the Cobras earned another 25-21 decision in the third set.Cazenovia was down 2-0 to Ludden before rallying, so this was more manageable. It dominated the fourth set 25-14, and when Grimes tried to rebound in the final set, the Lakers answered them, got the clinching points and won the match 25-22.Josie Avery’s 26 assists went to a variety of players, including Lindsey Clements, whose brilliant all-around effort included six kills, 11 digs, five aces and four assists.last_img read more