Personnel: Cyril Ritchard, Margalo Gillmore, Frank Bouley, Suzanne Luckey, Lucky Kargo, Frank Marasco, James White , John Tewkesbury, Robert Banas, Lisa Lang, Heller Halliday, Ric Wyatt, Jr., Arthur Tookoyan, Robert Van Selow, John Newton , Joseph Stafford, Kathy Nolan, Albert Linville, Robert Harrington, Mary Martin , Sondra Lee (vocals).
Audio Remasterers: Didier C. Deutsch; Paul Goodman .
Liner Note Authors: Didier C. Deutsch; Bill Rosenfield.
Recording information: Webster Hall, New York, NY (11/02/1954-11/04/1954).
Arranger: Albert Sendrey.
James M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan has been the subject of so many musical adaptations in such a short time that it seems worth pointing out that this one bears no relationship to the 1950 Broadway musical with songs by Leonard Bernstein or to the 1952 animated film with songs by Sammy Fain and Sammy Cahn. (Nor does it have anything to do with the musicals of the same name staged in 1905 or 1924, for that matter.) This one started out on the West Coast with a score by composer Mark "Moose" Charlap and lyricist Carolyn Leigh, but by the time it got to Broadway in October 1954, so many songs by composer Jule Styne and the lyrics team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green had been added that they got separate credit in the ads. (Trude Rittman provides some incidental music, for good measure.) Surprisingly, all those cooks make for an excellent meal, as Charlap and Leigh provide such memorable songs as "I've Gotta Crow," "I'm Flying," and "I Won't Grow Up," while Styne, Comden, and Green chip in with "Never Never Land" and Rittman contributes the various dance tunes that make Captain Hook (Cyril Ritchard) sound like a refugee from a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. Of course, what really makes it all work is Mary Martin, who sounds as delighted as she could be to be playing the impish boy who can fly. Martin may be a stage veteran, but her Peter Pan is one of her most ingenuous creations, and she sets the tone among a cast full of children, including, toward the end, her own daughter Heller Halliday. So, although there have already been too many singing Peter Pans on-stage and onscreen, this may be the best one yet. ~ William Ruhlmann