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Karen Salkin Out to Lunch

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Read Karen's article on Valentine's Day Ideas


Okay, okay, I know that in the restaurant column this week I said that I’d see “Peter Pan” for Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t wait and just had to attend Opening Night at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. (Which just means that on Feb. 14 you can now find Mr. X and me at the opening day of Hugh Grant’s new romantic comedy “Music And Lyrics.”)

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My whole life, I have been the biggest “Peter Pan” fan. I’ve apparently taken his pledge to never grow up to heart, and adopted it as my own. Proudly.

I met my favorite friend, Ronnie Hazel, Jr., who’s now thirteen (actually fourteen next month, so soon he’ll be too mature for me to pal around with) when he was born, but unfortunately didn’t see him from ages two to five because he lives so far away. When he was five, I visited his relatives, who are my second family, and Ronnie and I bonded right away. Here’s a big reason why: within an hour of my stepping through the door, (which he can describe in great detail), he uttered the magic words, “Want to watch ‘Peter Pan?’ ” I knew right then and there that we’d be friends for life. (I think of him as the twin I never had. Lucky him.)

We watched the animated Disney version that night, and have since seen tape of the old Mary Martin Broadway show, and a new live stage adaptation at Trinity Square Repertory Company in Rhode Island.

Though I’m a major fan of old-school Disney animation, I knew going into the event that its take on the story of Peter Pan can’t hold a candle to the Mary Martin-Sandy Duncan-Cathy Rigby (depending on your generation) incarnation of J. M. Barrie’s classic tale. But the opportunity to see it on a big screen is not to be missed.

And corny though some may think that it is, the El Capitan experience is always something special, not the least of which is its popcorn, which is the best ever, according to the discerning Mr. X. The building itself is gorgeous and historic, and we get to hear the Mighty Wurlitzer organ being played live on stage, which is great seat finding-and-changing music. (We actually stayed put this time, even choosing side seats over the usually-preferred reserved center ones. All vantage points are great in this theatre.)
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I’ve never been to the opening of a film here before, so maybe they do something special at all of them, which are open to the public, by the way. At “Peter Pan,” they had the characters walking around, for you to take pictures with, and a panel discussion featuring Disney personnel such as Margaret Kerry, the woman who was the model for Tinkerbell, (many have erroneously thought her to be based on Marilyn Monroe), and Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced Wendy and looks almost as young now, fifty-five years later.

richard sherman

Richard Sherman, who along with his brother, Robert, composed most of the Disney songs of yesteryear, chief among them being “It’s A Small World,” (the most performed song on earth, according to Wikipedia), introduced a new one he wrote that’s included in the soon-to-be-released Platinum Edition DVD. Richard and his wife are actually old pals of mine, and he is the most unassuming successful man you’d ever hope to meet. (The two of them have been married umpteen years, and still act like they’re on their third date. It’s so great to see that kind of romance, especially nowadays, when there’s precious little of it.)

A quartet of young teens did a hip-hop song and dance number, which was hard for me to judge because one of the few groups I’m prejudiced against is show business kids. Mr. X, who everyone agrees is a really good dancer, but will be upset that I’m telling anyone because he’s humble, said they were all pretty talented, and I’m definitely ripping off the girls’ outfits for my next event, so that part of the program was a success for us.

Then the real entertainment began, which I understand occurs at every show. A live Tinkerbell appeared and did some gymnastic moves above a lit-up house upon which she sprinkled Fairy Dust. That got my attention. Not to ruin it for anyone, but make sure you return from the restroom by that point because sparkles get cannoned into the audience, which most people absolutely love, no matter what his or her age.

And finally we were treated to the digitally-restored “Peter Pan.” There’s nothing better in the world of animation than Disney originals, and this one was made in 1952, when it was all done by hand. That concept just boggles my mind.


Though I by far like the Broadway show better, I feel one’s Peter Pan education is not complete without seeing this one. And you might even learn something new, as Mr. X did when he realized that Tinkerbell is a major bi-atch. Maybe that’s why she’s my favorite! (I literally just realized that if Peter and Tink ever had a kid, it would be me--a bitch who never grew up.)

[Future column alert: sometime, I’ll tell you the story of my infamous Peter Pan birthday cake a few years back, just as soon as I complete the therapy caused by the debacle.]

Peter Pan running through February 15 El Capitan Theatre 6838 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood 1-888-DISNEY6

Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?
Out To Lunch Dec. 28 -
Karen's year-end wrapup
Out To Lunch Dec. 19 -
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews "Jersey Boys" at The House of Blues & Frankie Valli
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews Tesoro Trattoria
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
Out To Lunch Sept. 26-
Karen reviews Ugo and Patina Catering
Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
Out To Lunch Aug 29-
Locanda Del Lago review
Out To Lunch Aug 17-
Karen reviews CUBE on La Brea
Out To Lunch Aug 9-
Karen unveils her quick breakfast, lunch and Chinese menu favorites and visits Nathan's
Out To Lunch July 31-
Karen does a NY restaurant run-through extending from Manhattan and Brooklyn
Out To Lunch July 20-
Karen talks about The Greatest Show On Earth
Out To Lunch July 13-
Karen's Dark Secret
(okay, one of them) and reviews
Osteria Latinia
Out To Lunch July 6-
Library Tea Asia de Cub
Out To Lunch June 29-
Upstairs at Vitello’s,
Jurlique Day Spa,
"Back On Broadway"
Out To Lunch June 20-
Organic To Go, Cafe 50's
Out To Lunch June 13-
Karen reviews Mr. Chow's
Out To Lunch June 6-
Karen reviews Amici
Missed one of Karen Salkin's entertainment and theater reviews?
Read Karen's theater review of Edward Scissorhands, Plaid Tidings and quick movie notes
Karen reviews Champions On Ice
Karen comments on Andre Agassi
Karen reviews the annual Emmy Suites
Karen reviews "Curtains" and Burton Morris
Karen reviews "Water and Power" and "Hayfever"
Karen reviews "Much Adoobie About Nothing"
Karen reviews "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Beehive"
Karen reviews "Doubt?" and "Fat Of The Land "
Karen reviews "Sweet Charity" and the "Marvelous Wonderettes"
Karen reviews "Nightingale" and "Souvenir"
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