It is important to acknowledge that NBC made prime-time television that did not involve a crime-scene investigation or an elimination challenge.
Peter Pan Live aired last week, and people mostly just wanted to revel in its suck. Later, they were disappointed in its lack of suck, instead of marveling that a network — one owned by Comcast, the dark lord of telecommunications — for a second straight year, put on a LIVE MUSICAL.
Musicals are hard. Singing, dancing, and doing gymnastics at the same time is hard. Broadway performers are Division I-level scholarship athletes. Just check out the Lost Boys’ abs. Doing musicals on national television, when 9.21 million people (according to Variety) are watching, all aroused by the idea of being funny on Twitter, is harder.
But it went fine. You could complain about Walken’s performance, but why? He played the best dancing pirate since Robert De Niro in Stardust.
This is not a value judgement on/review of Peter Pan Live. It’s just an acknowledgement that it’s nice to see something new, something creative. There’s joy in that. Peter Pan Live also let people, perhaps shut out by income and/or geography, experience musical theater in a way that didn’t involve a movie adaptation by Disney.
Peter Pan Live isn’t winning a Tony, but Allison Williams’ fairy-dust wire never broke — conversely, this is the reason I wanted to the now-closed Spider-Man musical — and she didn’t shame the ghost of Mary Martin, or Cathy Rigby, who is still alive.
NBC should do a musical with dancing-pirate Walken every year. Get De Niro, too. Comcast can afford him.