We returned to Neverland!

What do you get when you cross Pirates of the Caribbean with Peter Pan? You get the perfect sequel! This past weekend, my girls and I ventured out to see Pete, or the Return of Peter Pan. This had been on our calendar for almost six months, so the anticipation was high. Long before their interest of princesses, my girls loved the story of Peter Pan. We walked into the theater wondering where a sequel would take us; where would they pick up from? Who would Peter Pan’s new friends be?

Pete, or the Return of Peter Pan beautifully picked this up and captured all of the fun and magic that the original story provided. At the beginning of the play, we are introduced to a modern day Wendy. She has much more spunk and was much more high spirited than the one we met in the first story. We met her mother and grandmother in the opening scene along with a boy named Henry. Our interest was peaked and we wondered who were these characters and how would they tie into the classic we first fell in love with.

Within ten minutes into the play, we returned to Neverland! I was amazed at how Neverland was recreated on the stage. It was a series of slides, platforms, poles and a jungle gym all put together to make it a child’s dream, just as Neverland is intended.  Don’t worry, it is not your ordinary playground equipment thrown up on stage. I found myself wanting to get up and play on stage.

We were reunited with old friends Peter Pan and Smee and soon met two additional pirates, Ann Bonny and Mary Reed, who would serve as our new villains. However, with their quick wit, hilarious one liners and antics, it was hard to dislike them. They provided many laughs and chuckles that amused both children and adults.

Peter Pan was his usual playful self. The actor captured his spunk and attitude so well. His new identity of Pete made him much cooler. He provided Wendy and Henry with new adventures that included a bony bird (otherwise known as a pterodactyl) and run-in with ninjas. Yes, ninjas and pterodactyls were written into this sequel. Surprisingly, they fit so well and provided the audience with awe and entertainment!

The overall story of the sequel was cleverly written. We loved the main characters and rooted for them to prevail, but had such a hard time disliking Smee and our new villains. The story line has some twists and turns and unexpected surprises! These new characters were well developed and  integrated so well into the original story line. Without giving anything away, I was left feeling amazed on how it fit together so well and wrapped it up leaving no loose ends, but also provided a chance for the story to continue.

I highly recommend this fun and endearing sequel to a beloved classic. The story line is truly unique and entertaining. I would recommend it to ages five and up, but to truly understand the unexpected surprises and tie it to the original, it is best for ages seven and up. Come with an open mind and prepare for the unexpected because this is not your ordinary Peter Pan, but still as magical and fun as the first!

The running time for this play is almost two hours. In the middle of the play, there is a fifteen minute intermission. I highly recommend checking out the costume exhibit that is in the back of the Performing Arts Center. It is on display until Mid-May. The exhibit features a gorgeous display of theatrical costumes and masks. We were truly awed by the detail put into these costumes. If you come after Mid-May, there will be another incredible exhibit, as periodically the current exhibit is replaced by another interesting and exciting exhibit. There were not many people viewing the exhibit during intermission, so it left me wondering if people were aware of this hidden gem inside the Performing Arts Center. Be sure to check it out. There is no additional cost and you will not be disappointed.

Darcy Mize
Family Blogger

Darcy Reviews “Sideways Stories from Wayside School”


To describe Sideways Stories from Wayside School as “wacky” is an understatement!  There truly is no school like this school!  This play is based off Louis Sachar’s book that tells the zany tales that occur at Wayside School.  From the beginning of its construction, the school was doomed to be odd and absurd.  It was supposed to be thirty classrooms constructed side by side, but it was accidentally built as thirty stories tall.  The entire play is set in the classroom on the thirtieth floor and tells the nutty stories that occur at Wayside.

The week before the play, my girls and I read the hilarious book by Louis Sachar.  We laughed all week as we read through the book.  We went into this play in love with the characters and wondered how a theatrical production could truly pull off the insanity that occurs in the book and bring it to life to really show its absurdity!


We knew from the moment that we set foot in the theater, we knew we were in for a treat!  The set itself was fantastic. It was like eye candy. The bright colors and backdrops beautifully matched the hilarity that would ensue in the classroom on the thirtieth floor!  The play opened with the introduction of Mrs. Gorf, the world’s meanest teacher with ridiculous rules.  Without telling too much, the opening scene was fantastic! The magic that occurred in the book was delightfully and creatively crafted on stage! Within the first five minutes, we fell in love with the characters on stage, just like we did with the book.

In the book, there are thirty students in the classroom on the thirtieth floor.  However, in the play, we meet five of them. Due to their large and crazy personalities, the other 25 from the book were not missed!  The best five students and the teachers from the book were brought to life  in the theater version.  Their costumes perfectly complimented their over the top personalities. We laughed at their oddities and felt a strange sense of compassion for their problems, but giggled at the same time!


The play has a running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes with a 15 minute intermission As per the description, it is recommended for ages 6 and up.  I fully agree with the recommendation since it can be a long time for little ones to sit still.  There is also a part of the play can be spooky to the younger crowds.  The giant eye that comes from above to represent Mrs. Zarves could be a bit too much for the under-five group. Though there is some dark parts of the play, it will not distract from its hilarity!

Prepare to laugh and expect to be wildly entertained by the students and teachers at Wayside School. You will understand that there is no such thing as an ordinary day at this school!

Family Blogger