Thursday, July 2, 2009
Special thanks to our guest blogger David Perrin for so beautifully capturing this event:
Recently I spotted a really long line in Central Park. I'm used to standing on long lines for clubs and restaurants and Trader Joe's. But this line got me really excited because it led right up to the Swedish Cottage.
The Cottage has the oldest Marionette Theatre in America (that I could find). It was originally built as Sweden's exhibit for the 1876 Centiennial Expo in Philly, after which Fred Olmsted (hot urban designer that he was) moved it here to CP to function as a bathroom and cafeteria. The Marionette Theatre seats a capacity of 100 (three-yr old sized humans) so I'm not sure how the 5,614 people camped out on this this footpath were all going to get in. Rumor has it that a gaggle of 12 year olds were drugged by their parents and dragged here to sleep overnight on the sidewalk to be among the lucky ticket holders for Peter Pan the next morning.
I was somewhat perplexed by the current fascination in woody Peter and his stringy friends since the current production has been going since last October. The few drowsy line-waiters that I polled told me that waiting on this line is something every interesting NY'er should do before they move on to Minneapolis or Santa Fe.
Notice in this picture the ironic flute player serenading the woozy marionette fans. When I asked the Park Ranger about his beat he said he was supposed to be convincing people that Anne Hathaway was more interesting in 12th Night than Wendy Darling ever would be. As you can tell he was having no luck, not even when he tried an impromptu reading from the 12th Night script, because no one on line would even look at him.
Turns out that everyone was disappointed this particular day because the actor playing Peter went awol, snipped his strings and disappeared from his sleeping quarters. The note he left read, "I'm going to see the real Neverland that Michael built because it will soon be as overrun and as spoiled as Graceland. Besides I need to do more character research on kids who don't want to grow up - I'm beginning to sound a bit like Daniel Radcliffe in my role (yuck). And the Lost Boys are really pissing me off. I need a break. Back before Saturday. Signed, big Peter."