Never Say Never, When You’re Dealing With Captain Hook

"Return of Neverland," a winning script in a skillfully staged production.

Captain Hook and Peter Pan duel

Photo: Gail Hayes

Jason Bowen as the aged and rascally Captain Hook duels with Jonathan Wachala as the perpetually youthful and honest Peter Pan.

Event Information

Return of Neverland

musical sequel based on James M. Barrie's "Peter and Wendy"


ISU’s New Theatre

July 6, 7, 8, 12, 21, 25, 2012 Concert version performances Terre Haute Children’s Museum 2 pm Saturday July 21 Ryves Hall 2 pm Tuesday July 24

812 237 3333

Return of Neverland at ISU’s Crossroads Repertory Theatre in Terre Haute is a musical sequel to James Barrie’s classic Peter and Wendy. The grown up Wendy, grim-faced Carolyn Conover, is married to one of the former lost boys, the resolute Jason Bowen, and they have a teen-aged daughter, Jane played by the wide eyed Clara Butts. The mother and father have tried to put Neverland with its adventures and dangers out of their minds. But Jane has been having some strange dreams.  And when she pokes around in the attic, she finds the lantern that summons Peter, the delightful Jonathan Wachala.

Meanwhile, back in Neverland, Captain Hook, a much more flamboyant Jason Bowen, and the faithful Smee, Brandon Wentz, are bargaining with an evil mermaid, now a wickedly-smiling Carolyn Conover, for a spell take away Peter’s gift of eternal youth. Their machinations involve clever gymnastic fairy tossing and a variety of kissing experiences. Through a ruse, the Captain kisses Jane. He thinks she is Wendy, but she isn’t, so the spell to age Peter doesn’t work.  Finally, the Captain does get his lips on Wendy. His plan works. Peter does grow old.  But in a remarkably clever plot twist involving Crossroads’ veteran Lew Hackleman, that I didn’t and you won’t see coming, everything ends in a happy fashion.

Highlights of the production for me included a couple of clever patter songs for  Bowen as the Captain, a hilariously funny scene when Wentz as Smee struggles  to move a rock, and the delightful boyish joy that Wachala brings to Peter.

Return of Neverland was the winning script in a playwriting contest among Indiana State University students and graduates. ISU grad Andrew Park collaborated with veteran composer Scott Lamps to create the musical. The neatly staged production is directed by Crossroads Artistic Director Arthur Feinsod. Eye catching costumes are by Marc Borders; secure musical direction and preparation are by Mark Carlisle; inventive choreography is by Teresa McCullough. Samantha Hayes, Will Rupert and Joe Wagner were the graceful stage managing fairies. Kurt Perry was the never dull or routine pianist.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Theatre & Dance Stories

Theatre & Dance Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

Our Photos on Flickr