Giggles aplenty could be heard all over the Woodlawn Theatre at Friday’s opening performance of “Peter Pan.”
That was particularly true during the scene in which the Lost Boys flee from the bumbling pirates by seeking refuge in the audience, crouching at the feet of patrons. It was a nifty touch that engaged the audience and also helped make some time for a set change from the forest to the ship of Peter’s nemesis, Captain Hook.
The much-adored show, directed with a sense of fun by Greg Hinojosa, tells of Peter (Carlye Gossen), the boy who refuses to grow up, and how he manages to briefly entangle the lives of the Darling children (Kate Ragan, Chase Taylor and Zac Taylor) in his own universe. That would be Never-Never Land, where the Lost Boys spend their days locked in battle with Tiger Lily (Samantha Vasquez) and her Indians and Hook and his crew. The boys, of course, long for a mother to care for them, which is part of the reason that Peter brings them Wendy Darling.
The scene in which the Darling children fly for the first time — after Peter has doused them with fairy dust and they summon lovely thoughts of such things as Christmas — is a gleeful, marvelous moment.
The family-oriented show is tremendous fun from start to finish. Gossen paints a spirited portrait of Peter, and Joshua Goldberg is a hoot-and-a-half as Captain Hook.
The production boasts plenty of visual goodies courtesy of set designer Kurt Wehner, scenic artist Chris Rutz, lighting designer Matt Smith and costume designer Rose Kennedy. Christopher Rodriguez’s high-energy choreography is marvelous, and music director Josh Pepper and the orchestra do a strong job with the score.
Much like the title character, the show soars.
“Peter Pan” can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays — with additional shows at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20-23 — through Dec. 23 at the Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road. Tickets range from $17 to $26 at the Woodlawn web site or by calling 210-267-8388.