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NBC's Live Production Of "Peter Pan" Should Have A Female Lead

It has been tradition for a woman to play Peter on stage since, well forever. Suggestions? We got plenty!

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This won't be the first time NBC has televised the famous story based on J. M. Barrie's mischievous character, Peter Pan. Following the original stage production in 1904 – and countless following that one – there have been a number of successful film and television versions.

"In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we've landed on another great Broadway musical — which ironically also starred Mary Martin — that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up," said Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman. No casting decisions have been announced, though it is rumored that NBC is looking for a male lead.

NBC seems 2 have their <3 set on casting a male to play Peter Pan in their new live show, even though traditionally its played by a girl :(

Evan Rachel Wood@evanrachelwood

NBC seems 2 have their <3 set on casting a male to play Peter Pan in their new live show, even though traditionally its played by a girl :(

10:50 PM - 19 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite


In nearly all stage productions of Peter Pan, the title character is played by a woman. Originally it was logistics that lead to a female playing the title character – English law prohibited children from being on stage in the evening. It has also been argued that an element incorporated into pantomime in the 1850s was the practice of cross-gendered roles. Soon, casting a woman as Peter became a well-honored tradition.

In the book J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan In and Out of Time, Donna R. White and C. Anita Tarr explain, "There was never any question that Peter Pan would be played by an actress. All but one of the Lost Boys were also portrayed by women, as was one of Wendy's younger brothers."


Throughout the 1920s, women continued to reprise the role on stages in London.

British actress Zena Dare (left), who played one of the lost boys in the original production, took on the role of Peter many times. Dame Gladys Cooper (right), an English actress whose career spanned seven decades, is seen before a performance in 1923.

In a 1927 stage production, Jean Forbes-Robertson played a stunning Pan at the Gaiety Theater in London – a role that she would repeat annually during the Christmas season until 1935.

The Scala Theater in London became known for its annual showing of Peter Pan.

One the left, British actress Pat Kirkwood prepares to play Peter in 1953. On the right, British actress Julia Lockwood (top) played Peter with Juliet Mills as Wendy in 1960.


The magic continued with NBC telecasts in 1955, 1956, and 1960 – reaching 65 million viewers.

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The 1976 musical adaptation was produced for television and starred Mia Farrow as Peter.

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The program did not use the score written for the highly successful Mary Martin version – it featured 14 new songs.

Sandy Duncan was nominated for a Tony Award in the 1980 broadway revival of Peter Pan.

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What leading lady could take us away to Never, Never, Land?

Anne Hathaway

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It's more likely NBC will go with a big name actress and – hate her or love her – Hathaway has the pipes.

Miley Cyrus

Tobias Schwarz / Reuters / Reuters

Chairman Robert Greenblatt jokingly suggested that he wanted Miley to play Peter. As long as she keeps the thrusting and tongue-wagging to a minimum, she would actually be a perfect Pan.

Amanda Seyfried

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I don't think anyone would complain if Seyfried added another musical to her repertoire. Her infectious smile and energy is tough to beat.

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