It’s hard to say if they’re actually flying or getting ready for a space walk, but characters definitely take to the air in Mira Costa’s production of “Peter Pan.” COURTESY OF KATHY SENA
Second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning – that’s where we’ll find Neverland.
Mira Costa High School’s Auditorium is being filled with sparkles, wonderful childhood reminiscences, and fabulous high school students who bring the magic of “Peter Pan” to life.
“Peter Pan” first opens with the small room of the Darling family children, Wendy, played by Sabrina Mongiello, John, performed by Ryan Fiene, and Michael, depicted by Tito Ure. The room is much like a pop-up storybook, with its carefully constructed pink walls and beautifully costumed children waltzing across the stage in it. Ure helps to emphasize these youthful tones with his adorable singing.
On the contrary, Mongiello captivates the audience, but in a different way. Mongiello makes Wendy into a caring, maternal character, which brings a breath of fresh air to the play as most of the characters are solely surrounded by innocence. Rather, Mongiello molds Wendy into an inherently responsible young girl who takes care of her siblings and even Peter Pan.
Although the acting was very professionally done, the most magical aspects of the show are the technicalities that go along with it. When Peter Pan, who is played by Julia Mcdermott becomes apart of the performance, flying across the stage is brought into the picture. Mira Costa’s Drama Department truly outdid themselves as the audience got to take a peek into the world of every childhood dream: where people can fly.
All of the Darling children and Peter are suspended by discreet harnesses and wires. Accompanied by jovial live music from the Mira Costa orchestra, the characters’ carefully choreographed flight maneuvers make it one of the happiest and mystical scenes of the whole show and the audience just falls in love.
Four-and-one-half year old Crosby Hedrick, who anchors his galleon in Manhattan Beach and goes by the moniker “Little Hook,” consents to pose with Captain Hook (Paxton Wright) after watching “Peter Pan” on stage. Another meet-and-greet takes place after the 2 p.m. matinee this Saturday. COURTESY OF KATHY SENA
These flying maneuvers were also quite handy when it came to fighting the villain. The antagonist of the play is of course Captain Hook, who is portrayed by Paxton Wright. Wright gives one of the most impressive performances that Mira Costa has ever seen as he is extremely hilarious while he makes Hook one of the most clumsy and cocky villains. He also has a British accent and a vast range, which gives him an authentic character and makes him sing very nicely.
One of the brightest stars of the show is of course, Peter Pan. Mcdermott holds true connections with each of the characters from the very beginning of the play.
She most definitely proves herself to be an authentic thespian when she gives a heart-wrenching monologue to Tinkerbell, who is just a laser that darts across the stage, but Mcdermott captivates the audience in a way that only a Martin Luther King, Jr. dream can.
At times the characters spoke at such a high or low pitch that, when put through the microphones, it was hard to understand them. However, “Peter Pan” was definitely amongst the best productions at Costa.
All of the actors were able to connect with the audience and capture the magic that should be in every childhood fairy tale. The actors, sparkles, and fairy dust fly off of the stage and the audience’s heart glides away with them.
Peter Pan is playing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, plus 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, in the MCHS Auditorium, 1401 Artesia Blvd., Manhattan Beach. Tickets, $18 general; $15 students, seniors. At the box office or online at miracostadramaboosters.org