Actors fly in 'Peter Pan' at the Three-sixty Degree Theatre at
music in the park san jose

Put down your Wii remote and visit the 100-foot austere, tall,
white tent that sits across the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero
in San Francisco.
Put down your Wii remote and visit the 100-foot austere, tall, white tent that sits across the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Enter the world’s first state-of-the-art 360-degree computer generated imagery (CGI) theatre pavilion “in the round” and fasten your seat belts. Get ready to fly with Peter and Wendy to Neverland, more than 400 square miles of virtual London. Whoa! Duck! Here comes St. Paul’s Cathedral. Hey, look out! We need some altitude to make it over the Tower Bridge. And there they are – all the landmarks of London as they have never been seen before.

Children will be fascinated and adults will be amazed at the technical aspects of the special effects. This is “Peter Pan” as never seen before. Move over Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby. Here is flying in the 21st century without the music.

All this happens with 12 projectors, delivering 360-degree views with 10 million pixels on all sides of the audience to create high-definition CGI. We find ourselves flying over London, under the sea with mermaids, on Captain Hook’s ship, inside and outside of Neverland and, of course, in the Darling’s children’s bedroom. Scenes change with props disappearing and appearing into the floor of the stage.

Tanya Ronder adapted J.M. Barrie’s 1904 “Peter Pan” for this production, which was first presented in Kensington Gardens in London in 2009.

A more traditional “Peter Pan” than the Broadway musical and Disney’s renditions, it tells the story about a boy who lives in Neverland and doesn’t want to grow up. We have a rag tag Tinker Bell and a rather sexy Tiger Lily vying for Peter’s attention. The cast delivers an interesting performance, but the story seems to get lost somewhere in all the special effects and flying. The delightful hand-operated puppets that represent Nana, the Darling’s dog and a huge ferocious crocodile – which is a little overwhelming for the really little ones – are cleaver and inventive.

This production will definitely keep the attention of seeing a different type of theatre in a unique venue. The story of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook is a classic that’s more than 100 years old, and will no doubt be around for another 100 years. But it will be a while before anyone comes up with a more creative presentation. Kids will love it; adults will know that the 21st century theatre has definitely arrived.

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‘Peter Pan’

Where: The Three-sixty Degree Theatre at Ferry Park, across from the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, San Francisco. Park in the Embarcadero parking lot No. 4 – show your ticket stub to the parking attendant upon departure and parking is $8. You are also within walking distance from the Embarcadero Bart station.

Through: Aug. 29

Tickets: $30-$85; $20 discount for children 12 and under is available for select performances.

Details: (888) 722-6849 or www.peterpantheshow.com

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