Coleytown Middle School Presents ‘Peter Pan’

Sophie de Bruijn, Web Feature's Editor

Coleytown Middle School’s acting group, Coleytown Company, will be opening this years high-flying musical, Peter Pan, on Friday April 5.

This will actually be the second time Peter Pan takes the Coleytown stage, as it was the first show put on by current Artistic Director Ben Frimmer 17 years ago.

Needless to say, the production in 1996 was much more low key than the show opening this weekend. “When we did it the first time it seemed so simple,” Frimmer said. “For flying we used our school TV studio and made a video, for choreography we used a teacher, for sets, we built a pair of six feet high boxes that turned and moved to become every part of the show. The program has grown so much in the time that I’ve been here that audiences won’t settle for bad blue screen video and simple sets anymore.”

Frimmer has joined forces with Broadway veteran Michelle Berti for the third time to put on this ambitious production. 15 years ago, Berti was a principal understudy in the Tony nominated production of Cathy Rigby’s Peter Pan and has come to Coleytown to help the talented young actors bring the show back to life. Berti also collaborated with Frimmer on the previous productions of “Anything Goes,” and “Footloose.”

Not only does Berti have her own Broadway acclaim, but she has also worked closely with Patti Colombo, the original choreographer of Peter Pan.

Jorie Janeway who was recently in the touring company of Hairspray is also assisting Frimmer with the production.

Although Frimmer has worked with Berti and Janeway on previous productions, he has never paired them together before. “They are a terrific pair and have brought the level of dance in this production to a place I couldn’t have imagined,” Frimmer said .

Frimmer has also recruited expertise in the flying department in order to set the bar even higher for this middle school production. With the approval of Superintendent Dr. Elliot Landon  Frimmer has hired Zealous Flying Effects (ZFX), the company currently working with the cast of Wicked on Broadway, to bring this young cast of Peter Pan to new heights; literally. ZFX previously worked with the Seoul Musical Company on a production of Peter Pan in South Korea.

Despite the obvious goal of directing a high caliber production, Frimmer’s main goal is to provide his students with an unforgettable experience. “I can honestly say my favorite show is always the one I’m currently working on,” he said. “For me it’s never about comparing it to other shows; it’s about providing my current students with a first rate experience.

The show will run April 5 at 7:00 pm, April 6 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and close on April 7 at 1:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased up to 45 minutes before the show starts.