Category Archive for: ‘Woody Weingarten’

‘Peter Pan’ is fun for kids — and grandparents, too

[Woody’s Rating: ★★★★★

Flying high in “Peter Pan” are (from left) Peter (Melissa WolfKlain), John (Jeremy Kaplan), Michael (Claire Lentz) and Wendy (Erin Ashe). Photo by Woody Weingarten.

Colorfully clad ensemble is energetic and nimble in “Peter Pan.” Photo by Woody Weingarten.

Peter (Melissa WolfKlain) defeats Captain Hook (Jeff Wiesen) in swordfight. Photo by Woody Weingarten.

Long, ticking crocodile puppet is just one delightful feature of “Peter Pan.” Photo by Woody Weingarten.

“Peter Pan” is the most age-appropriate musical performed on Mt. Tam in several years.

For my granddaughter’s bracket, at least.

Hannah has now reached the ripe old age of 8.

With minimal prompting, she told me she really liked the dancing, the costumes and the songs.

But best of all, she said, were the special effects.

“It was fun watching them fly. I wish I could have done that.”

“But I didn’t like Captain Hook,” she added, forgetting to mention that she never likes a villain (no matter how droll).

When I complimented her for her behavior throughout the picnic-show afternoon, she rebuked me for calling her “a young lady” because, “like Peter, I don’t want to grow up — it’s cool being a kid.”

Though she generally enjoyed “Sound of Music,” the last Mountain Play she’d attended, it didn’t enchant her as much as this particular show did, and I doubt she’ll be nearly as mesmerized with next year’s Romeo and Juliet update, “West Side Story” either.

At her age, she has no concept that Nicole Heifer was responsible for the Jerome Robbins-like choreography of “Peter Pan,” Heidi Leigh Hanson for the primary-color costuming, or Michael Schwartz the fast-paced direction.

But I do.

So I mentally jotted down that all three deserve high praise.

God or Mother Nature, too, for making the day perfect at the outdoor Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre in Mount Tamalpais State Park on Highway 1 in Mill Valley.

Not too hot. Not too cold.

As the baby bear kept saying, “Just right.”

Although we, as usual, had prepared — by layering — for virtually any weather.

Admittedly, however, I wasn’t prepared to enjoy the musical as much as I did.

I guess that means that in my final analysis, the show must be age-appropriate for grandparents, too.

“Peter Pan,” the Mountain Play, will be performed at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 7, 14 and 21 and Saturday, June 13. Tickets: $20 to $40 (children 3 and under, free). Information: (415) 383-1100 or

Contact Woody Weingarten at or

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