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Musical Theater of Anthem will perform Peter Pan Jan. 14-22 at Boulder Creek High School. The run of the show will include eight performances with 3 p.m. matinees and 7 p.m. evening shows. For information or for tickets go to www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org

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Peter Pan brings Neverland to Anthem
MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR ~ 12/29/2010

 

It will be one of the biggest theater productions to ever take flight in Anthem.
In deciding to take on the challenge of Peter Pan Jackie Hammond the founder of Musical Theater of Anthem said many considerations factored into the decision.
“Every year we try to do one big show and at some point you think what’s bigger than Peter Pan?” she said. “With this one it’s go big or go home.”
With a cast of nearly 100, ProMusica lending its talents with a 17-piece orchestra and three dynamic lead characters Hammond thinks she’s got a combination that will have theater fans clamoring to Boulder Creek High School for the show which will include eight performances from Jan. 14 – 22.
“It’s a show not to be missed,” she said. “Not a lot of people do Peter Pan not only because of the length of the show, but because of the special effects. It’s a very entertaining show, one that is appealing to all ages.”
The special effects Hammond refers to will be the flying done by the main characters.
A company that specializes in helping theater companies perform flying scenes in their shows will spend the week leading up to opening night giving direction.
“They fly somebody in from Kentucky and stay with us for five days,” Hammond said. “They train four flying operators and a flying supervisor while spending five days getting things ready for the show.”
Megan Mahoney will be making her third appearance in a production of Peter Pan, but her first as the lead character.
The Scottsdale resident said the flying makes it easier to get into character.
“The last time I did the show I got to fly and it makes it more realistic,” she said. “The harnesses are awful. They’re not real comfortable, but they clip you in, pull you up and away you go. You feel like you’re flying.”
While the opportunity to perform in Peter Pan once again initially drew her to the show, Mahoney who will be making her MTA debut, said she quickly has been won over by every one involved with the theater company.
“I asked a friend and she gave me a good recommendation,” she said. “I’m amazed at how organized they are. There isn’t any sitting around. We’re going to put on a
really good show.”
In playing the role, Megan said she researched other productions of the show.
“Peter is a challenge because he’s a little boy obviously,” she said. “I have to really focus to stay in character, but I watched shows where other females played the character. I had a game plan going in of how I wanted to play Peter when I auditioned.”
While MTA has primarily produced youth productions over the years the cast for Peter Pan includes nearly 100 members ranging in age from 6 to 67.
“This one runs the gamut,” Hammond said. “I would say 65 percent are between
ages 6 to 14.”
Hammond said she’s got a talented group all the way around.
“Megan is a talented singer, dancer and actress,” she said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with this terrific cast and truly wonderful production staff,” Hammond, Producing Artistic Director and Vocal Director said. “We look forward to making this the biggest and best show the North Valley has ever seen.”
K.C. Lindley, who has played in numerous MTA shows over the last four years, said he’s excited to play the role of Smee before heading out to California to try and find his way as a professional actor.
“It’s a good show to go out on,” Lindley said. “It’s the story of never wanting to grow up, wanting to stay a kid forever, which is funny considering I’m preparing to leave my home, move away from my family to try and make a career for myself.”
Lindley said that doing such a popular show has its set of challenges.
“It’s exciting, but it’s hard to do such a well know show, because you want to give it a new spin to pass it along to a new generation of fans,” he said. “It’s still a friendly, happy kids show, but we’ve got some different plot aspects that will keep the audience intrigued.”
In playing the role of Captain Hook’s sidekick Lindley said that he feels lucky to be working with Matt Newhard, who is playing Captain Hook.
“I was lucky to get a good comedic role, but beyond getting to be a creepy pirate Matt and I feed off each other really well,” he said. “Sometimes you get paired with somebody and there’s very little chemistry, but with him we’re constantly cracking each other up.”
The run of the show, which includes eight performances, includes 7 p.m. shows Jan. 14-15, along with 20-22. Additionally there will be three matinee performances at 3 p.m. Jan. 15, 22-23.
Boulder Creek High School’s Performing Arts Center is located at 40404 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy in Anthem. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students, seniors and children 12 and under. For information or for tickets go to www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org. A 15 percent discount is available for those that enter tinkerbell when purchasing online.