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Peter Pan at 70

Senior Pan returns to Neverland in new play


The impish kid who famously sang "I Won't Grow Up" sure is getting old. A new play, "For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, " begins previews next week at Playwrights Horizon in New York.

Kathleen Chalfant, 72, stars as the suddenly senior believer in Neverland. The Tony Award-nominated actress ("Angels in America," "Wit") portrays one of five older siblings who embark on a search for renewed youth, "even if flying is harder than it used to be," notes the New York Times.

"For Peter Pan…" was written by Sarah Ruhl, 43, who has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her plays "The Clean House" (2004) and "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)" (2009).

Peter Pan, created in 1902 by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, has inspired a number of memorable films and plays, including the 1953 Disney animated movie and the 1954 Broadway musical starring Mary Martin. That production became the first play broadcast live and "in living color" on NBC a year later.

Martin remained in the role when the musical was restaged by NBC in 1960, a production that was rebroadcast in 1963, 1966 and 1973 and later reissued on VHS and DVD.

In 2014, NBC aired "Peter Pan Live!," starring Alison Williams ("Girls") as Pan and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.