Peter Pan 360 Lands in Dallas
In association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan 360 has landed in Dallas for an extended stay from now through December 6, 2016. Through high-flying aerial routines and CGI projections, Wendy, Peter, Tinkerbell and The Lost Boys come to life in a thrilling production that is fun for the whole family.
What is the Threesixty Theatre Tent?
If you’ve driven through the Dallas Arts District recently you may be wondering why a 100-foot high white circus tent suddenly appeared at 2450 San Jacinto. Well, not only did Peter Pan 360 come to the Big D, but this amazing stage play brought its very own venue along with it!
Despite its simple lines and classic circus tent shape, The Threesixty Theatre Tent is a high-tech touring venue specially created to showcase Peter Pan 360. The Threesixty Theatre Tent seats nearly 1500 audience members, and quite comfortably; I was amazed by the amount of leg room I had.
With rows that only go 13 deep, and no pillars blocking audience sight lines, there really is not a bad seat in the house. (That said, I might think twice before sitting in the front row. It looked like you’d really need to tip your head back at times.)
And just like a good Boy Scout, the Threesixty Theatre Tent is prepared for all sorts of weather. Come rain or shine, this portable venue keeps audiences comfortable and protected, which is always a plus here in Texas!
Impressive Staging & the Perfect Amount of CGI
Peter Pan 360’s staging is amazing, and quite possibly the best I have ever seen in a live production! The stage play is presented as a theater in the round, with cirque-style aerial work carrying the actors 40-feet in the air.
The Threesixty Theatre Tent creates an immersive experience by projecting CGI imagery on the walls of the tent in all directions. Peter Pan 360‘s creative staging incorporates high-tech techniques without being gimmicky or detracting from the story. For instance, you can really feel the movement as the children fly over Edwardian London on their way to Neverland.
The acoustics in the Threesixty Theatre Tent are impressive, as well. Even when canon balls are fired or the crocodile growls, these loud sounds fill the room without hurting your ears. The recorded soundtrack gives the live performance a cinematic feel, as if you had stepped into a movie. And while Peter Pan 360 is not a musical, per se, the original songs that Wendy and Mrs. Darling sang blended well with the story, too.
The cast of Peter Pan 360 make their aerial stunts look effortless and exhilarating. Not only was it exciting to see Peter, Wendy, and her brothers soar through the air, but it really looked like they were having fun. Tinker Bell, especially, made me want to take a flight of my own!
I also enjoyed how clever usage of the CGI images projected on the wall of the Threesixty Theatre Tent creates seamless scene changes without the aid of curtains or black outs. It’s impressive how swiftly the central stage is transformed from the Darling’s bedroom, to a London rooftop, to Neverland and back again.
Peter Pan 360 – An Enchanting Cast
I always eavesdrop during intermission to see what impressions a performance is creating on other audience members. At last night’s opening for Peter Pan 360 in Dallas, Texas I must say that Tinker Bell, as played by Jessie Herman, was the woman of the hour. While the character of Peter Pan reminds us to hang onto our childlike wonder, something about Tink’s mischievous nature hit the spot for many audience members, perhaps reminding them of an exaggerated version of their own uncensored passions.
The entire cast is excellent and the show is seamless. Dan Rosales is energetic and endearing as Peter Pan, while Sara Charles makes a gutsy-yet-tenderhearted Wendy, with an enchanting singing voice. As Mrs. Darling, Hannah Jane McMurray also sings beautifully. Carlile Stephen, meanwhile, was both flambuoyant and reserved in his dual roles as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling.
Perfect Holiday Family Outing
If you’re looking for a family-friendly night out to create lasting memories and possibly introduce your children to joy of live theater, Peter Pan 360 is not to be missed! The Threesixty Theatre Tent opens an hour before showtime, so you and your family will have time to take photos and enjoy a little popcorn or other snacks. Fifteen minutes before the play starts, several cast members entertain the audience with live music.
A note to parents:
Although Peter Pan 360 is geared for children 5-years-old and up, kids under 2-years-old may attend the play at their parent’s discretion, as long as they are seated on an adult’s lap. Children aged 2 and up must have a ticket and seat of their own.
Who was J.M. Barrie, anyway?
Although Peter Pan is a children’s story, the character of Peter Pan, himself, lives on as both as a compliment and a disparaging term, depending on the situation. It’s one of those shows that strikes you one way when you first see it as a little kid, and another way when you see it as an adult.
Peter Pan 360 Trivia
If you’ve visited my site before, you know I love factoids, so here’s a fun one about Peter Pan 360: Oddly enough, even though J.M. Barrie’s tale of Peter Pan has been retold many times in many ways, it wasn’t until the Threesixty Theatre Tent’s traveling production of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan was created that this childhood classic was ever performed where the story itself is actually set – in London’s Kensington Gardens!
It had been many years since I’d seen a live performance of Peter Pan, and last night’s wonderful show left me thinking about the creator of this enduring classic, J.M. Barrie. If that happens to you, I highly recommend the movie “Finding Neverland.” (In fact, I plan to watch it later tonight!)
Finding Neverland is a bio pic, starring Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, and Kate Winslet as the woman who helped inspire the Peter Pan story. The movie is well worth watching for those who, like me, finds themselves thinking about how the characters in Peter Pan have woven themselves into our culture, and yearning to go “second to the right and straight on till morning.”
Tickets, Dates & More Info for Peter Pan 360 US Theatrical Tour:
What: Peter Pan 360 US Theatrical Tour in Dallas
When: November 11 through December 6, 2015
Where: Threesixty Theatre Tent in the downtown Dallas Arts District at 2450 San Jacinto, Dallas, TX 75201
Price: Tickets start at $25. Check availability and book online at ATTPAC Peter Pan 360 or Ticketmaster: Peter Pan 360 US Tour
Runtime: Approximately 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission.
NOTE: While tickets were provided for review purposes, the opinions expressed in this article are wholly my own.
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Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.