"I cannot even remember a day when I didn't want to be Peter Pan."
December 7, 2014 7:10 AM   Subscribe

"One day early in 1954, Mary Martin and her husband, Richard Halliday, were driving on the Merritt Parkway, near their home in Norwalk, Connecticut. On the car radio came Frank Sinatra’s new hit, “Young at Heart.” It was perfect! That is, the song had the exact sentiment and feel they wanted for the pet project they’d long been planning, a musical version of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan (original subtitle: “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”). Right on the spot, they decided they’d hire whoever had written the song to compose the score for their production."

"It turned out that the words were by a young New Yorker, Carolyn Leigh, and the music by the veteran West Coast jazzman Johnny Richards. The next morning the phone rang in Leigh’s apartment, and a man who identified himself as Richard Halliday said that he and Martin wanted her to write the lyrics for Peter Pan. 'Naturally, I thought somebody was kidding,' Leigh told a reporter. 'That sort of thing just doesn't happen. So I arranged to call him back at his office, and I did and it was him all right.'" When Mary Martin Was the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, by Ben Yagoda.

See also: FanFare
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, this is so awesome. Thanks for posting it. My husband and I were wondering why the tree ballet existed.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:35 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Martin must've been an absolute powerhouse - from the link:

"There was an encore live television performance in 1956, and, in 1960, a taped production—the last time Mary Martin would be Peter. During rehearsals, she was playing the role of Maria in the Broadway musical The Sound of Music. Each night, after the curtain fell, she would sprint across West 44th Street from the Lunt-Fontanne to the Helen Hayes Theatre to don the familiar outfit and strap on the flying wires."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:05 AM on December 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have to confess: I googled "Peter Pan is creepy" yesterday. I don't know why I started feeling this way or when. Maybe because of MJ and Neverland? Maybe reading about Llwelyn Davies' kids and Barrie's "fondness" towards them? I don't know.

I would really have liked to have enjoyed it instead of feeling uneasy about it.

Am I the only one?
posted by discopolo at 8:30 AM on December 7, 2014

Those interested in this FPP may find last night's SNL spoof of Peter Pan Live amusing.

"Yes, tis I! The boy who will never grow up! And yes, you heard me, I'm a boy! The most gorgeous, womanly boy with shiny bright eyes and womanly features. A boy!"
posted by fairmettle at 9:03 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I rather enjoyed these two deconstructions of Peter Pan, the first from Emily Asher-Perrin on Tor and the second from a reddit poster seeing things from the perspective of the pirates.
posted by Ber at 9:24 AM on December 7, 2014 [6 favorites]

We live down the road from Weatherford, Texas, birthplace of Martin and home to her Peter Pan statue. And also a statue of her son, Larry Hagman.
posted by emjaybee at 3:18 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Racist History of Peter Pan's Indian Tribe -- Smithsonian Magazine
posted by dhartung at 4:51 PM on December 7, 2014

And also a statue of her son, Larry Hagman.

That is a hilarious piece of information.
posted by JHarris at 5:20 PM on December 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

(Peter Pan, and his/her son, Major Nelson, who eventually quit the space program and became an oil tycoon.)
posted by JHarris at 5:28 PM on December 7, 2014

Wow, Ber, that story on reddit is great. Thanks for linking to it. (I'm a sucker for fixfic.)
posted by Lexica at 9:01 PM on December 7, 2014

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