NBC’s upcoming live broadcast of the musical “Peter Pan” on Dec. 4 is making me smile. The same network’s videotaped replays of the Broadway musical with stage stars Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard served up baby boomer candy in the 1960s, with the album, played over and over with the enthusiasm of a kid on a trampoline, making it even sweeter (my poor parents).
Mary Martin’s tomboy Peter was tantalizing but, in its gender-bending casting, not original. In fact, women played Peter from the opening of J.M. Barrie’s play in London in 1904. That makes sense because Peter Pan is a paradox.