Peter Pan Live! airs on Thursday, December 4th at 8/7c. Encourage your students to watch. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to see a live musical. It will be like Broadway came to their living room.
The show looks promising. Allison Williams stars as Peter, Christopher Walken plays Captain Hook, and Tony Award-winner Christian Borle performs the roles of Mr. Smee and George Darling. It’s from the producers of The Sound of Music Live!, which I thought was an excellent show with great production values. I can’t wait to see what they do with Peter Pan. I am most excited about seeing Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. I read in Entertainment Weekly that he is a professional dancer who fell into acting, and that his tap-dance scenes will knock America’s socks off.
For a little character education, tell your students how hard Allison Williams worked to get the role. I read in Allure that as soon as Peter Pan Live! was announced, she contacted her agent. “Too soon?” she asked. The agent said yes–they hadn’t even written the script yet. Allison made sure everyone connected to the show knew she was interested. She used her phone to film herself singing the songs and sent it to producers. When interviewers asked about roles she wanted to play, she strongly hinted at Peter Pan. It worked!
NBC and YMI have produced teaching materials to accompany the show. Print out a full-color poster to promote the event. Give the students copies of the synopsis and song list. (These would be good printed back-to-back and sent home for students to share with their families.) Simple-but-slick worksheets would make great extra credit activities. Here’s one with a short quiz and here’s one with lyrics to “I Won’t Grow Up” and a challenge to write your own verse. Play the preview and accompanying promotional clips that take you behind the scenes as the cast and crew prepare the show. There is a commercial after the preview, but after that, the promotional clips play without interruption.
You can buy Peter Pan Live! on Amazon and in stores on December 16th, so you could show it in class before Winter Break. In the meantime, teach your students about The Sound of Music Live! with that show’s DVD, available on Amazon and in stores. It’s fun to watch the show live, but it’s also nice to watch it without interruptions. Plus, the DVD comes with a feature about producing the show. Students will enjoy seeing the hard work and preparation that go into producing a musical.