Peter Pan 360, local fun for the whole family

I had heard and seen advertisements for Peter Pan at the 360 Theater in Tysons Corner many times in the past month, and the anticipation to actually seeing the show was building.  I can promise you one thing, it is like no other show you have ever experienced.  Peter pan 360 takes the best features of other shows (Cirque de Soleil, IMAX, acrobats, trapeze, music and more) and combines them into one big extravaganza.  The show itself was enjoyed by our family, Mom and Dad, son who is 11(skeptical guy and did not expect to like it) and daughter who is 7 (lover of all shows).  We all loved it and thought it was really a one of a kind event.  Skeptical son was even surprised at intermission when I asked him what he thought of the show so far, “Pretty amazing, and how much more time is left?” We each enjoyed every moment and were sad when it was over all too soon.
Twenty actors braved the stage, as well as the sky, as they recreated J.M. Barrie’s version of Peter Pan (which is different in a few respects to the Walt Disney version).  The stage is surrounded by seats and above the last row the inside of the tent is used as a backdrop screen of sorts. Many images and cool special effects are displayed in this area.  It took many computers, months to generate these amazing displays. The Computer Generated Images (CGI) are very lifelike and contribute to the overall experience of bringing you to the various locations that the children travel to.  There is so much action that there is no time to be bored. Children and adults will have a great time.  This show really appeals to all ages, except for the very young who could potentially be scared.  The round stage has holes where actors pop in and out (this is amazing to see how effortlessly this is accomplished).  IMG_6486
The set evolves constantly, from the Darling childhood home in London, to Neverland, to Captain Hook’s ship, then back to London again.  Many of the characters fly through the air and my daughter wanted to know if she could try it one day.  Each piece of the show works together and creates a magical experience for all who are watching.  There is even a silk aerial piece where two “mermaids” enact part of a bedtime story while we all feel like we are underwater with them.  Our family truly enjoyed the show more than we thought we would, never knowing what exciting event would happen next, even though we all knew the story quite well.  This show is a perfect example of taking a childhood classic and remaking it into a modern marvel.

I have a few tips if you have not bought your tickets yet. Try not to buy seats in Section D.  This section has the air conditioner compressor behind you, and most of the time, you cannot hear what the actors are saying. Plus, oddly enough, you have very little air conditioning.  Any other section is much more comfortable, we walked around and tried out each of them.  Second, do not sit down very close to the stage(the first few rows).  If you are sitting close to the stage, you cannot see all the action on top of the stage or enjoy the projected images as much.  Sit in the middle or towards the top for the best views of the action.  Since the seats surround the stage, you really don’t have any bad viewing spots, which is really nice for all the attendees!  If you have very young children (3 and under), you might want to skip this show.  We saw many little children and babies who started crying as soon as the show started and their parents had to take them out of the theater. The BOOMS (cannons) are really loud and feel like they are aimed right at you, the crocodile is really scary,  and there are lots of mild words that you might not want to explain to young children. Captain Hook is also a pretty scary character and some characters “die” in the show as well.  My opinion is that the show would be best enjoyed by children over 5.  And make sure you leave enough time to park (there is a free lot at Tysons, or you can pay $25 to park in a lot right across from the entrance.)  If you arrive 15 minutes early, you will be entertained by 5 actors who are singing, dancing, and playing instruments on the stage.  It was really fun to watch them and sing along with some old tunes as people took their seats.  Peter Pan is playing near Tysons until August 16th, so you have most of the summer to get your tickets and bring your family to experience some magic.  When the show leaves our area they will next be visiting Texas.  Snacks, shirts, hooks, wings and other goodies are sold at the show.  The first half of the show lasted 50 minutes and then there was a 20 min intermission followed by another 45 minute period.

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