Peter Pan

Original Broadway Production (1954)

Trivia & History

The Broadway production closed to prepare for a live telecast of the production. The production would, however, likely have closed fairly soon as it was not doing especially well at the box office, surprising as that may seem. Perhaps it came too soon after the 1950 Broadway production of the original play, with Jean Arthur in the title role, and Boris Karloff as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook, and with incidental music and songs by Leonard Bernstein.

There were plans to bring the show back to Broadway for 3-4 weeks during the 1955 Christmas season. According to press reports, the return engagement never happened as it was decided that it would be too expensive for the production to recoup during the limited run, even if it sold out.

Some online sources give a total of 152 performances for the run. The Best Plays of 1954-1955 and the New York Times gave that number, but Variety and the paper then known as The Billboard both listed 149. We believe both numbers to be incorrect, although 149 is closer.

The production opened on a Wednesday evening. Had it played eight performances each full week of the run, plus five the first week (which is what it did play the first week), then 149 would be correct.

The reason we list 148 is because there was no Wednesday matinee closing week. There was a special Thursday matinee instead, but this was a benefit for the Actors Fund. Actors Fund benefits have traditionally not been counted in performance totals and so we list 148.

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