Bernstein: Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a 1950 musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein; it opened on Broadway on April 24, 1950. This version starred Jean Arthur as Peter Pan, Boris Karloff in the dual roles of George Darling and Captain Hook, and Marcia Henderson as Wendy. The show was orchestrated by Hershy Kay and conducted by Benjamin Steinberg. The show ran for 321 performances, closing on January 27, 1951.
The production was initially intended as a full-blown musical, with Bernstein composing a complete score for it, but 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 2000, conductor Alexander Frey learned about the full score and restored the omitted material, which included almost an hour of previously unperformed Bernstein music. The restored songs included "Captain Hook Soliloquy" and "Dream With Me".
The world premiere recording of Bernstein’s complete score was released on CD in 2005, conducted by Frey, and featuring Broadway star Linda Eder in the role of Wendy Darling, and baritone Daniel Narducci as Captain Hook, on the Koch International Classics label.
In September 2008 the world premiere performance of the full Bernstein score was performed in concert with Alexander Frey conducting the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and dialogue adapted from the original J. M. Barrie play by Nina Bernstein Simmons. Three performances were given in Cascais, Portugal, for a combined audience of over 10,000 people, and featured Geraldine James (narrator), John Sackville-West (Peter Pan), Charlotte Ellett and Rachel Nicholls(Wendy), and Nicholas Lester (Captain Hook).
The first stage production of the full Bernstein score was given by Santa Barbara Theater (California) in December 2008, directed by Albert Ihde and again conducted by Alexander Frey. A new chamber adaptation of the score will be produced at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in June 2018, directed by Christopher Alden.