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Peter Pan (1950 musical)

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program for the Bernstein stage adaptation
program for the Bernstein stage adaptation
Jean Arthur as Peter Pan
Jean Arthur as Peter Pan
album of Bernstein stage adaptation
album of Bernstein stage adaptation
Boris Karloff as Captain Hook
Boris Karloff as Captain Hook

Peter Pan was an authorised Broadway adaptation produced in 1950, with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein. This version starred Jean Arthur as Peter Pan, Boris Karloff in the dual roles of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook, and Marcia Henderson as Wendy. It was initially intended as a full-blown musical, with Bernstein composing a complete score for it, but it was staged with only five songs – "Who Am I?", "Pirate's Song", "Plank Round", "Build My House", and "Peter Peter" – to accommodate the limited vocal ranges of the principals.

In 1998, conductor Alexander Frey, during 7 years of research examining missing sketches and manuscripts, found almost 50 minutes of previously unheard Bernstein music for Peter Pan, and restored the omitted material, which included newly discovered songs, dance music, choruses and orchestral interludes. The restored songs included "Captain Hook Soliloquy" and "Dream With Me". He also restored the original orchestrations by Trude Rittman and Hershy Kaye.

In 2005, the world premiere recording of Bernstein's complete score (restored by Alexander Frey) was released on CD, on the Koch International Classics label, conducted by Frey, and featuring Broadway star Linda Eder in the role of Wendy Darling, and baritone Daniel Narducci as Captain Hook. The recording featured the original orchestrations by Trude Rittman and Hershy Kaye. Additional orchestrations of Bernstein material that previously only existed in the composer's manuscripts as piano-vocal sketches were done by Sid Ramin, Garth Edwin Sunderland and Alexander Frey.

In December 2006, it was produced for the stage by The King's Head Theatre in Islington, London, with Katherine Kastin as Peter Pan and Peter Land as Captain Hook, and Rafaella Hutchinson as Tinker Bell, directed by Stephanie Sinclaire and featuring new musical arrangements by Mike Dixon. This production used only parts of the Bernstein score and none of the original orchestrations. The music was performed by an instrumental trio.

In September 2008, the world premiere of Bernstein's complete score was performed in concert, with dialogue adapted from the original J. M. Barrie play by Nina Bernstein Simmons, in Cascais, Portugal, and was conducted by Alexander Frey with an international cast featuring Geraldine James as narrator, John Sackville-West as Peter Pan, Charlotte Ellett and Rachel Nicholls as Wendy, and Nicholas Lester as Captain Hook, along with chorus and orchestra.

In December 2008, the first stage production to feature the complete Bernstein score was mounted by Santa Barbara Theater in California, directed by Albert Ihde and again conducted by Alexander Frey.



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