‘Peter Pan’ Tunes Get New Sound for Modern Audience

Last year’s NBC ratings hit and social-media phenom “The Sound of Music: Live!” validated the power of traditional television even as VOD and streaming nibble at broadcast’s heels, so it’s no surprise that the Peacock is coming back for more, with a live-performance telecast, Dec. 4, of the original musical “Peter Pan.”

But there will be differences. “(With ‘Sound of Music’) we were doing the ’50s stage version,’ ” says musical director David Chase, who worked on both shows. “ ‘Peter Pan’ is quite different … It’s really being re-thought to accommodate the specifics of TV.”

This means such changes as adjusting the lyrics and sounds of the drum-thumping song “Ugg-a-Wugg” to find a politically correct way to address the original tale’s Native American stereotypes.

The project comes at a time when Chase, who is also music supervisor for the upcoming stage adaptation of “Finding Neverland,” the 2004 Johnny Depp biopic about “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie. The two projects have made this “my year of J.M. Barrie,” he jokes.

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