Osborne Focht as Captain Hook and Lea Antolini-Lid
as Peter Pan ~ Photo by Bob Eberle

Peter Pan, the Musical

Centenary Stage Company
Lackland Center, Hackettstown, New Jersey
December 14, 2014

A Review

The Centenary Stage Company is a not-for-profit professional equity company in residence at Centenary College, which serves not only to bring professional productions to Northwest New Jersey but also to give quality preprofessional experience to the theater students at Centenary.

Peter Pan was my first real Broadway theater experience when, at the age of nine, I was taken to New York City to see Eva Le Gallienne play the role of Peter. Of course, it is all clear in my memory, including my disdain for the silly younger ones who screamed and yelled and grabbed for Peter as Le Gallienne flew out over the audience during bows.

I was not disenchanted by the Centenary production. Not once did I turn away with an “Oh Gawd!” The staging—sets, lighting, and special effects (smoke from a toadstool)—was competent and believable, even from my front row seat. And—sitting in the front row (almost in with the orchestra) did not dispel the illusion of flight. It was magic all over again. Lea Antonlini-Lid, Professor of Dance at Centenary, played Peter with bravado and élan. (Though I did note that Nana (the dog) was directed to be a “dog” rather than a “nurse maid” as J. M. Barrie had intended.)

The cast was largely composed of faculty and students at Centenary. The boys—and there was a horde of them—and some of the girls are or were students in the Young Performers Workshop at the college.

So, it is bravo all around!

—Ruth Grauert, December 15, 2014