Saturday, November 25, 2017
Stage

Original adaptation of 'Peter Pan' opens Live Oak Theatre season

RECOMMENDED READING


BROOKSVILLE — Live Oak Theatre Company's first production of the 2016-17 season fuses a familiar story with an original twist — and that was Randi Olsen's goal.

As the theater's volunteer artistic director, Olsen chooses the shows for each season.

"I wanted to highlight classic stories that we all grew up with, stories that are family friendly and have some sort of lesson in them," Olsen said.

Many are in the public domain, which frees her to adapt them as she pleases.

"One of them is Peter Pan," she said.

So this weekend and next, a cast of about 50 local actors will perform an original version of the classic story.

When Olsen first considered writing an adaptation of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, she thought about the actors who usually perform in Live Oak's plays. And she had a realization.

"(Peter Pan) was a good fit for our company," said Olsen. "We've got Wendy, we've got Tinker Bell, we've got Tiger Lily, we've got all these Lost Boys."

With the children who are part of Live Oak in mind, she co-wrote a new version of the show with Kyle Marra, a fellow Live Oak volunteer.

"We tried to follow very closely to the heart of Barrie's original production, and the book we all know and love," Olsen said. But "we expounded on a few characters."

There is an entire chorus of mermaids, and Olsen said they are the show's "mean girls." And there are songs designed to highlight each of the characters.

"Tiger Lily has a song about being brave," Olsen said. "The Lost Boys have a song about living in the forest and following Peter Pan, because he's their fearless leader."

Olsen wrote all of the show's songs, and volunteer Jessica Giarratana composed them. The show has two acts, and — as Olsen always hopes — it has a life lesson.

In the show, the character of Mr. Darling is "a typical good guy, stuck in an office all day, (in a) mundane pattern of surviving and paying bills," Olsen said. "Which we all have to do. But at the same time, we shouldn't abandon our dreams."

That lesson is important to Olsen, 41, because she has learned it herself.

She studied vocal performance and music education at the University of Tampa and pursued her dream when she graduated.

"I was born to do music and theater," she said.

But after she pursued that for a while, she wound up working as an office manager. She learned a lot and liked the job, but still longed to use what she learned in college.

She started volunteering at Live Oak.

The theater's adaptation of Peter Pan will remind the people in the audience that they can pursue their dreams, too.

"I don't think we're put on this planet for a life of drudgery," Olsen said. That's "the lesson of Peter Pan — to hold onto your dreams and to make time for them."

Comments
‘Fun Home’ opens at the Straz, ‘The Little Prince’ at Freefall

‘Fun Home’ opens at the Straz, ‘The Little Prince’ at Freefall

LIFE AND DEATH: FUN HOMEEvery year, the Straz Center tries to mix it up a little, injecting a not-quite-so-safe show into an otherwise bankable lineup. Last year, that was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This year it’s Fun Home, a ...
Published: 11/22/17
Powerstories’ latest production strikes a personal chord with founder

Powerstories’ latest production strikes a personal chord with founder

In the upcoming musical Twelve, Powerstories Theatre will present a holiday story revolving around a single mother who’s working as a waitress in 1950 San Diego.For Powerstories founder Fran Powers, the production represents an account she crafted fr...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17
It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

HUDSON — Music brings the Rudolph family together in A Doo Wop Christmas, which opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 25 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.This new production, directed by Peter Clapsis (The Great American Trailer Park Musical) with m...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

KIKI OR BUST: BENJI BROWNWherever Benji Brown goes, Kiki follows. The comic, known for his work on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, created the fast-talking female character on the fly when he called a girl’s house in high school and her boyfriend pic...
Published: 11/15/17
American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

ST. PETERSBURG — A centuries-old template for the rom-com as we know it and one of Shakespeare’s most produced comedies, Much Ado About Nothing comes to us at a time when we can really use some love conquering all. Just what the love doctor ordered, ...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Okay, I’ll admit I went into the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill on opening night of the comedy Baggage expecting another June/moon/spoon romance-comedy. And sure enough, that’s just the way it started.A man and a woman grab ea...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/16/17
From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

TAMPA — He had dreamed about returning to comedy in odd moments, between meetings with the lawyer, the lonely trip to the correctional institute, picking up trash on state roads while a guard stood by with a rifle. This nightmare would make him...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

The Red Rocker calls on time, and he is all kinds of fired up."Hey, Jay, Sammy Hagar here. Are you ready for me?"Is anyone ever truly ready for a phone call from Hagar, the flame-haired, motor-mouthed ex-Van Halen singer who once dubbed himself the C...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/12/17
What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

AMERICAN STAGE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGTwo couples nearly come apart at the seams for different reasons, the premise for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, opening at American Stage. This version is set in Key West in the 1940s, the end of World Wa...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

At the beginning of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion acknowledges that the audience might not want to hear her story because we don’t think it could happen to us."It will happen to you," Didion says with a rueful smile, and of course she’s r...
Updated one month ago