Pirates of Neverland

A 36th-annual Mid-Columbia Lions Follies presentation

The Mid-Columbia Lions Follies continues its run of “Pirates of Neverland” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 19, 20 and 21. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. at Hood River Middle School’s auditorium.

This family-oriented show has been a big hit already its first weekend.

The show is written and directed by Bob Fox, who wrote the show based on his vision of what a pirate story should be.

Fox said that he enjoyed his visits as a child to Disneyland, where one of his favorite rides was Pirates of the Caribbean. It was one of the last attractions that Walt Disney developed before his death in 1967.

During the ride, visitors hear the theme, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” written by George Burns and Xavier Atencio. This ride and theme is an inspiration for the Follies show — as well, of course, as the Peter Pan and Hook story.

Peter Pan is a well-known character written by J.M. Barrie. He first appeared in 1902 and the stage play of “Peter Pan” was in 1904.

Peter is a mischievous boy who lives on the island of Neverland. There, he leads a band of boys who are lost to the real world. He plays with the fairies, can fly and is an adversary to Captain Hook.

In Neverland, he remains a boy because he can’t grow up. This is the familiar Peter Pan story, but not the one told in the Pirates of Neverland.

For the Follies, show, Peter has left Neverland to grow up and become a father. The story is read by Grandma Wendy to her grandchildren (Peter’s children), and is told from the point of view of the pirates. Peter was not their friend.

The first half of the show reminds the audience of the well-known tale of Peter and Hook, and how Peter was the cause of Hook’s name.

For the second half, Hook has kidnapped Peter’s children as a way to force Peter to return to Neverland. There, Peter will have to fight with Hook in order to save his children, giving Hook his revenge on Pan.

However, first Peter must remember his time in Neverland. This is a challenge to the fairies, and especially Tinker Bell.

Bruce Ludwig plays Captain Hook, Clinton Curtis is Peter Pan, Sarah Fox is Tinker Bell, Dave Tallman plays Mr. Smee and Carol Arnold plays Fairy Mary.

The musical numbers vary from the Peter Pan movie with “Never Smile at a Crocodile” to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” to the sailor’s traditional song “Jolly Roving Tar” (where the pirates can be seen performing the Virginia Reel in the background).

Megan Perkins-Roush and Dick Goe play the grandparents, performing songs such as “Moondance,” “Remember When” and “Rolling in the Deep.”

Even the little ones are in the show with a crowd-pleasing number to “Bare Necessities.”

The show is a treat for all ages. Executive Producer and Musical Director Bev Bridgewater heard remarks from the first weekend such as “the best ever,” “I loved the crocs” and “What a fun way to relive this great story!”

“Pirates of Neverland” is a show for all ages, and is the Lions’ 36th annual production. All proceeds go to the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation. (See info box, below.)

Tickets at the door are $9 general admission and $7 for children 12 and under. Advance tickets are $8 and $6 and may be purchased from any Lions Club member, Waucoma Bookstore, Key Bank, Columbia Bank, Studio 10, Sterling Bank, Windmaster Market, Jim’s Market, Mid Valley Market and McIsaac’s.

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