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High-tech 'Peter Pan' production coming to Orange County

July 13, 2010 | 10:00 pm

Peter Pan

If the thought of another traditional "Peter Pan" stage production is enough to put you in a sleepy stupor, then the high-tech adaptation of the J.M. Barrie novel that is coming to Orange County this fall offers a much-needed reboot of the familiar classic.

Produced by Three Sixty Entertainment, a British startup company, "Peter Pan" is scheduled to play at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa from Sept. 28 to Dec. 5. The show opened in London in 2009 and made its U.S. debut in San Francisco in April.

The production features live action combined with digital visual effects projected on a 360-degree screen. The show will be performed in a 1,300-seat, 100-foot-tall tent that will travel to Southern California and occupy the site next to the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Inside the tent, audiences will be able to view approximately 15,000 square feet of high-resolution video.

"Peter Pan" is directed by Ben Harrison and uses an adaptation by Tanya Ronder. The show has a cast of 22 actors and features puppetry and musical sequences. For the flying scenes, actors are lifted into the air against a digital backdrop featuring soaring shots of London.

Unlike past productions of "Peter Pan," this version doesn't cast a woman in the title role of the boy who refuses to grow up. The role of Peter Pan will be played by Nate Fallows, who originated the part in London. Jonathan Hyde will reprise his double role of Captain Hook and Mr. Darling.

Three Sixty Entertainment is a young theatrical company that intends to produce family entertainment on a large scale. "Peter Pan" is its first major production and there are hopes of turning it into an international traveling show.

Reviews of "Peter Pan" have been mixed, but the visual effects seem to have left quite an impression on viewers. A critic for the Daily Telegraph described the flying scenes as "terrific" but faulted the production's  lack of emotional depth. A reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "the story and the actors are pawns in a dynamic blend of projection wizardry."

Regular tickets for performances of "Peter Pan" range from $40 to $75 for adults, and $30 to $65 for children under 12.

-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from the new production of "Peter Pan." Credit: Kevin Berne

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