Posted in classic, comedy-drama, JM Barrie, Neverland, Peter Pan, satiric, two one-act plays, witty

A Trip To "Neverland" In Long Pants

Bradford Cover as Sir Harry and Rachel Botchan as Kate in “The Twelve Pound Look” from  The Pearl’s This Side Of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

If it weren’t for Walt Disney, the flying, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook, “Peter Pan” would be widely recognized as the adult fairytale it truly is. Children for the most part aren’t that interested in not growing up.

Sean McNall as Charles and Rachel Botchan as Mrs. Page  in  “Rosalind” from  This Side of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

In J.M. Barrie’s two one-act plays, capping the 29th season of the Pearl Theatre Company as “This Side Of Neverland,” and playing through May 19th, the tales are definitely for grown-ups.

J.M. Barrie (Sean McNall), narrating with a deep Scots brogue and a very merry twinkle, is the glue that binds “Rosalind” with “The Twelve Pound Look” in “This Side of Neverland.” The Pianist (Carol Schultz) leads a mostly failed (through no fault of hers) audience sing-along to aid in the transition between the acts.

Extended to May 26th
Rachel Botchan as Kate and Vaishnavi Sharma as Lady Sims in “The Twelve Pound Look “ from This Side Of Neverland at the Pearl Theatre. Photo by Al Foote III.

The production under J.R. Sullivan’s direction strikes the charming note of Edwardian celebration. J.M. Barrie makes mischief in the neatly-drawn, sweetly satirical two parts of “This Side Of Neverland;”although the little plays feature adult-language and adult-situations, “This Side Of Neverland”gets its PG rating. Of course, youngsters will not appreciate its mature wit nor its intelligent wisdom..

Sean McNall as Charles in “Rosalind,” the opening act of This Side Of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

In the excellent small ensemble, Rachel Botchan is as delightful as Kate, the escaped wife in “The Twelve Pound Look,” as she is as the aging-ageless ingenue in “Rosalind.” Sean McNall is equally excellent in all the roles he undertakes, here as Barrie, and then as the boyish Charles, and the reserved slightly supercilious butler Tombes.

For more about The Pearl Theatre Company, and “This Side Of Neverland,” please go to www.pearltheatre.org