Before it was a beloved Walt Disney animated movie...before it was a children's book...before it was a million merchandising opportunities from dolls and amusement park rides to endless spin-offs and sequels and prequels—it was a play!
On this date in 1904, in the Duke of York's Theatre in London, England, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up opened...
The play was very successful, which may explain the lasting power of this story—still apparently going strong more than a century later! And why not? Not only does Peter Pan never get old or die—he can fly, has a fairy for a best friend, leads a gang of Lost Boys, hangs out with Indians and mermaids, and fights pirates!
- Watch a Peter-Pan-based movie such as Hook (1991) or the TV miniseries Neverland (a prequel to the familiar Peter Pan story, debuted just a few weeks ago). Or read a Peter-Pan-based book. My favorite by far is Peter and the Starcatchers, by humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and three other books that form origin stories for Peter Pan's magical abilities, Captain Hook, fairies, and the Lost Boys.
- The original Barrie book is available from Project Gutenberg.
- Find some Peter Pan fun at Kaboose!
Also on this date:
Kwanzaa (from 12/26/11 to 1/1/12)