Monday, December 08, 2014

Childhood Relived

I heard that NBC was going to present Peter Pan live, but I missed the performance.  I saw a clip on YouTube and wasn't overly impressed, although I appreciate any attempt so bold.

But finding myself yearning for some Peter Pan, (and not the peanut butter), I found the color, 1960 version with Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard on YouTube, and watched it Saturday after a long day of driving in the rain and doctoral presentations. 

Oh, how wonderful.  It's not just reliving the fun of watching that every year.  Mary Martin was so incredible lithe and having fun.  Entertainers have no right to entertain if they are not having fun at it,or in the case of drama, showing their passion for it.

So I've been thinking a lot about childhood and what the Peter Pan "myth" means for our age.  It is interesting to me that we treat the two wonderful stories of the 20th century, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz, as if they were ancient, timeless classics.  They do reach deeply into us.

I have read that in the 2014 version Tiger Lily was removed.  How silly.  Those were supposed to be children playing at Indians, not real Indians--no more than Wendy is Peter's mother or the pirates are real pirates.  Little boys used to play cowboys and Indians, like cops and robbers.  Was that bad?  Perhaps.  I can see it both ways, from the Indians' perspective.

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