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Peter Pan, part 4 December 27, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Comden and Green, Musicals, Peter Pan, Theater.

Cyril RitchardCyril Ritchard (1897-1977) played the roles of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook; the latter was his best-known role, for which he won a Tony award.

Besides Captain Hook, he may today be best remembered as Sir in The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, the 1965 Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley musical. Here’s an excerpt of his best-known song, “A Wonderful Day Like Today”.

Ritchard lived for many years in Fairfield, Connecticut, and in 1967 I saw a wonderful production of A MidSummer Night’s Dream at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, with Ritchard directing and playing both Oberon and Bottom.

At the point when Ritchard as Bottom goes to sleep, he rolled facing away from the audience but appeared to remain on stage. A few moments later, Ritchard appeared as Oberon and had his scene with Puck. After Oberon left the stage, the figure of Bottom rolled over … and it was Ritchard. To this day, I have no idea how they did that.

(NOTE: today’s section runs 20:37)


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