by Stephen Diehl
Relatively-Short Spoiler Free Performance Review: Second exit to the right and straight on ‘til morning! Errrr, I mean, ‘til Tysons’. I recently was lucky enough to visit “Neverland” by entering a huge tent in a parking lot down the street from the Tysons Corner Mall. What could possibly be different about this performance of a tale that’s been around for over a century? Three hundred and sixty degrees, CGI effects, and fantastic aerial acrobatics, that’s what. I think we all know the basic story of the boy who refused to grow up (no, not Michael Jackson, but rather “Peter Pan”) and so I’ll save you from a rehash. Except to say that this performance differed in some ways from the theatrical and TV versions; “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
That said, this performance is fun for the whole family although it may benefit younger viewers to have seen another version previously (such as Disney’s classic animated version) as it may make it easier for them to follow the high flying, acrobatic action they see on (and above) stage. Speaking of the stage, this one is circular—so all the action is quite visible from anywhere in the tent. And since the tent is entirely supported by external trusses, there are no pillars or poles inside to obstruct the view; there’s really no bad seat in the house. And there are no obstacles to the “flying” which was spectacular with the cast soaring more than 40 feet above the audience at times.
And speaking of Disney, it’s worth noting that this is NOT a Disney production so you shouldn’t expect to hear either familiar Disney songs or those from the more familiar theatrical versions. However, that is entirely okay, as the music and Cirque de Soleil like performances make for a very enjoyable time. I personally enjoyed Peter Pan 360’s take on Captain Hook’s feared nemesis, the crocodile, who was intimidating and endearing with its clothespin teeth and visible human actors operating from within the skeletal frame.
I’m sure you’ll also enjoy helping the audience bring Tinker Bell back to life. Speaking of the audience, I was surprised to see that—while there were many adults with children—there were also a number of adults there WITHOUT children. I guess some of us still like escaping the daily grind with a journey to a land where one’s imagination rules supreme.
This journey was a fully engrossing experience with multimedia projection in 360 degrees all along the tent’s interior making for a fanciful flight through London and throughout the entire stay in Neverland. Note that the production runs for 2 hours which includes a 20 minute intermission. The bathrooms were surprisingly pleasant as they were located in trailers with running water. Definitely a step up (literally and otherwise) from the Porta Potties that typically accompany an event located in an outdoor venue.
As for parking, although you can pay $25 for one of the limited spaces adjacent to the site, I’d suggest simply taking the production company’s recommendation to park at Tyson’s Corner (Garage A). From there it is a relatively short walk with officials assisting in crossing the main streets. And there are a number of local production attendants to direct you to the venue. My biggest regret regarding the show? The dread I felt upon leaving with the knowledge that I’d have to get up the next day to work at my “big boy job” instead of remaining in a place where I could spend my time—fun and fancy free—in a land where I make all the rules.
You can experience your own ‘Neverland Adventure” through August 16th. For more information and tickets, visit peterpan360.com.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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