NBC has finally announced the rest of the leading players for its Dec. 4 live airing of “Peter Pan.” The producers apparently chose to cast Capt. Hook and Mr. Darling with Christopher Walken and Christian Borle, respectively, instead of the same actor playing both parts.
I think the musical is much more effective with the dad and the pirate played by the same actor, at least from a Freudian point of view. And isn’t that the point? Mr. Darling loves his children, but is a strict disciplinarian whose limited time with his two sons is not pleasant. Capt. Hook, as we well know, hates the Lost Boys, Peter Pan in particular, and in this dream-like play symbolizes the Darling boys’ fear of their unapproachable dad.
But Walken is a definite “get” and we know he trained as a dancer in music theater at the Washington Dance Studio, before moving on to dramatic roles in theater and then film. Besides Mr. Darling, Borle plays Smee, Kelli O’Hara is Mrs. Darling and the previously announced Allison Williams is Peter Pan. Here’s the NBC announcement.