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Thread: Kurt Browning in Peter Pan

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    Kurt Browning in Peter Pan

    Just in case anyone's interested... As some of you know, Kurt's taken off his skates for the next month, and is playing Peter Pan on stage in Ross Petty's annual holiday panto at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. This is Kurt's first foray onto the stage, and I had the opportunity to catch the first two performances of the show last week.

    I went in not really knowing what to expect, and not expecting all that much. I love Kurt, but I've always been a little skeptical of his ability to deliver believable dialogue (as opposed to off-the-cuff stuff, which he does well) and a production that mostly relied on him acting and not skating? I wasn't so sure about that. Also, what I'd read about the panto made me worry that the show would just be silly and corny. But, I was willing to give it a try.

    The show was fantastic and very very entertaining. My family and I all thoroughly enjoyed it and had a great time. Kurt was wonderful on stage - his dialogue delivery was great and he had a great natural presence and charisma. He may not be the world's greatest actor, but he suited the role and the style of performance perfectly. And he did get a chance to show off his skating skills after all - the man does great footwork in inline skates, and gets some jumping, spinning, and skating over furniture in as well.

    But enough random comments from me, here's the review I wrote:
    http://www.kurtfiles.com/reviews/peterpan.php

    I highly recommend the show to anyone in the Toronto area or anyone willing to travel to the Toronto area between now and January 6, 2008.

    To be fair, here's a counter-opinion from the theater critic at the Toronto Star, who seems to think that hiring a legit theatre director and writer was to the detriment of the show, and wishes for a return to the "corny, tacky pantos of yesteryear." Sounds like past pantos were a lot broader in their humor and sillier in their execution. I guess it's all a matter of what you expect to get when you go in...
    http://www.thestar.com/article/281347

  2. #2
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Well, that's our Kurt! I would love to see that show. I always figured Kurt is capable of just about anything on skates. Thanks for this.

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    once again, Tina, I am extremely jealous...

    Kurt rocks!

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Peter Pan is fairy-like, hardly Kurt, but then the play is probably a complete rewrite. I'd like to see it, even a 5 minute slice on youtube would be welcomed.

    Joe

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    Very much a rewrite. This Peter Pan is balding, after all . Plus, he skates. It's very tongue-in-cheek.

    Previous Ross Petty productions have been televised on Canadian TV. I don't think they have a deal for this year's show yet, though. I'm really hoping they get one, though it probably won't be televised until next December even if they do get a deal!

  6. #6
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm sitting here hoping too... I love the original play... the broadway version... this new one is no doubt completely different and would probably leave me in stitches even if Kurt weren't in it!

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    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
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    There's an interview about it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crAEERXrejA

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    Thanks! I hadn't seen that video yet. Not a 5-minute slice, but it's the first video clip of the production I've seen anywhere. Cool =).

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    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
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    you're welcome

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    Can't picture Kurt running around in tights and talking like a little boy............the idea does not appeal in thought but I am sure they revised the story so he does not appear foolish

  11. #11
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I haven't seen it, but I've read Tina's extended review and he doesn't sound foolish...

    it sounds like Kurt... in a lot of ways he seems to be like the boy who never grew up himself!

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    I can't emphasize enough that this isn't the original story. Kurt and all the Lost Boys are all grown up (one of the other Lost Boys is also balding, which they riff off of at one point, subtly) and part of the premise is that Neverland has gotten so boring and stuck in a rut that they've started aging (though the Lost Boys are in a bit of denial about it). So no, he doesn't go around talking like a little boy. And the green tights are more like tight green pants, which is not the same thing.

    Kurt as Peter Pan is very much like an enthusiastic, goofy...Kurt. Kinda like the persona they gave him the SOI "Tunnel Vision" group number. The role was written with him in mind.

    BTW here's a bunch of other reviews:
    Well, look who grew up (National Post, 12/4/07)

    Browning, making his theatrical debut, turns out to be a passable singer, an adroit actor especially in comic bits and a thoroughly winning personality. He is also one novelty star who gets to make constructive use of his specialty; when he literally puts his skates on for his final fight with Hook, the result is one of the most entertaining fights a boy and a pirate could ever have.
    Kurt Browning skates into Neverland in Ross Petty Musical (CTV.ca News, 11/30/07)

    As the title character in Ross Petty's Peter Pan, now on stage in Toronto, Browning plays to the crowd, fights pirates while on Rollerblades and treats skating buffs to a taste of his signature quad, although this time he does it attached to the harness that helps his character take flight.
    A star turn in a dull Neverland (Globe and Mail, 12/1/07)

    It's the cast, as always, that does all the heavy lifting of this thin material. While his singing is amplified to distortion, Browning is a surprisingly funny and (not surprisingly) physically agile Peter Pan. There's a real sweetness to him that feeds into the character, and he handles the scripted jokes at his own expense with a distinctly Canadian good nature
    Peter Pan lacks silliness (Jam! Theatre/Toronto Sun, 12/1/07)

    But while it all adds up to a relatively satisfying family evening of musical theatre, thanks to Browning and a talented cast, it stops far short of an evening of panto.
    On Stage: Peter Pan (Eye Weekly, 11/30/07)

    There’s something to be said for getting exactly what you expect, and Ross Petty’s annual Christmas pantomime isn’t full of surprises. Even Kurt Browning’s performance as the aging Peter Pan is just what you’re expecting: not embarrassing, but not noteworthy either.
    (The reviews are here in basically declining order of positive to negative)

    But yeah, I'd say it's fair to say they didn't make Kurt look foolish.

  13. #13
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    "passable" singer....

    that made me laugh for some reason....

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    Custom Title Geesesk8's Avatar
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    "With all this going on, why would Mr. Browning want to put himself in front of the most merciless audience in the world - preteen children? Worse yet, he's doing it during the Christmas season, when the kids are all hopped up on candy and off-gassing toys..."

    "From ice to stage, Kurt Browning can't sit still."
    Here's the excellent and complete article from globeandmail, 12/7/07:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...rtainment/home

    ...

  15. #15
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    my pre-teen brother believes Kurt can do no wrong, Kurt will be fine

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