Neverland: The New Peter Pan Musical

So I wrote a musical.

Not many people do that these days. That’s because new musical is expensive to produce and exceedingly likely to flop. Once upon a time, show tunes were hit records, and musical adaptations swept the Academy Awards. Nowadays, a musical comes along every decade or so that captures the public imagination, but most of the time, nobody pays attention.

When I was working at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, I decided that Tuacahn ought to devote its time to producing new musicals. So I wrote one that I thought they could use. And, for a variety of reasons, they didn’t. I still think they should, though, since the musical is actually pretty good.

PeterPan2The show is called “Neverland,” and it’s a sequel of sorts to the classic story of Peter Pan. I chose Peter Pan as a subject because:

A) It was a concept that would have built-in name recognition and mass appeal, and:

B) The characters in Peter Pan are now in the public domain, so there’s no sticky copyright issues to worry about.

I’d rather not summarize the story, as I still hold out hope that the thing well actually get produced someday, but I thought you folks might be interested in the four songs from a demo CD we recorded. An old friend of mine who now teaches at BYU hired the singers and musicans and orchestrated the arrangements, and I wasn’t present for the recording session – I wrote all the songs, but I don’t know any of the people who are singing them.

Neverland
In many ways, this is the weakest recording of the four, only because the soprano’s got a really hooty voice that makes it hard to understand the words. I like the arrangement, though, with its groovy Celtic feel and the beautful use of the tin whistle. When the harmony kicks in, I really dig it. This song opens the show.

Hook of the Jolly Roger
Goofy fun, and it includes some transitional dialogue from the show. That’s my old friend, the guy who orchestrated this whole thing, playing Smee. Only drawback: Both this song and the fourth song, Dead, rhyme “dinner” with “innards.” What’s my problem, I wonder?

A Princess Bride
Originally written for an aborted stage adaptation of the movie The Princess Bride – there’s that sticky copyright issue again – the song was altered to fit Princess Tiger Lily’s dilemma, as she has to choose between a prince and Peter.

Dead (The Lost Boys Funeral Song)
I’ve sung this song in public many times. This version needs percussion, but otherwise, it works pretty well. Dead demonstrates that no one really dies in Neverland – a lost boy who is killed at the end of Act I is the one who sings the last verse. It also has the word “stallion” in it.

So whaddya think?

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  1. Jim, Have you presented this to the Hale Board in Orem? It seems like the sort of show that would attract families and bring in a good audience – if they can do it with Urinetown, why not Neverland. By the way, I don’t know whether you remember me from your days in Woodland Hills, but I was friends with your family and your seminary teacher briefly…Best in all your plans, Glenn Gordon

    • I remember you well and fondly – as well as remembering standing you up when we were supposed to go to the movies together. I’m still embarrassed by that.

      Are you in Utah now?

  2. Yes, I live in Orem now – I married a local lady about a year ago. I am running a small not for profit called the LDS Composers’ Network to promote concert music by LDS composers. You can email me and perhaps we can arrange lunch…

  3. What have I stumbled upon here? I wrote a LDS themed musical back in the early Nineties called A MOMENT IN TIME. It was the greatest thrill of my life to compose the songs and then write the entire libretto myself. It is about the spiritual reclamation of the LOST TEN TRIBES who inhabit the Hollow Earth. They truly become a Zion people before their prophets smite the rocks and the ice flows down and a highway is cast up as they march forth in Zion’s Power to make the everlasting hills tremble at their presence. LOL I too shopped it to Tuachan. I thought that place was first mandated to LDS themed musicals. Maybe I should take IT down to Orem.