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posted: 2/14/2014 1:19 PM

'Peter Pan' flies into Batavia

Magic unfolds onstage in Spotlight Aurora's 'Peter Pan'

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  • Spotlight Youth Theater presents "Peter Pan" at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. From left, Noah Moberly, 10, of Aurora portrays Michael; Ben Rogers, 18, of Sugar Grove portrays Mr. Darling (and Hook); Lauren Lanahan, 16, of North Aurora portrays Mrs. Darling; and Zach Honer, 14, of Naperville (behind Lanahan) portrays John.

       Spotlight Youth Theater presents "Peter Pan" at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. From left, Noah Moberly, 10, of Aurora portrays Michael; Ben Rogers, 18, of Sugar Grove portrays Mr. Darling (and Hook); Lauren Lanahan, 16, of North Aurora portrays Mrs. Darling; and Zach Honer, 14, of Naperville (behind Lanahan) portrays John.
    photos by Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Lindsay Spencer, 17, of Yorkville portrays Wendy Darling in Spotlight Youth Theater's presentation of "Peter Pan."

       Lindsay Spencer, 17, of Yorkville portrays Wendy Darling in Spotlight Youth Theater's presentation of "Peter Pan."
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Get ready to fly off to Neverland when Spotlight Youth Theater Aurora presents "Peter Pan."

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14; 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 and 22; 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 and 23, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Tickets are $10-$12.

The Daily Herald checked in with director Vince Cortese of Aurora to find out more about the show.

Q. How long have you been directing musicals for Spotlight -- what is your background?

Vince Cortese. I have been directing for seven years, since 2007. I majored in vocal performance, was a knight at Medieval Times for two years, performed stunts in movies, performed in musicals and plays for 10 years.

Q. Why was "Peter Pan" chosen for Spotlight Aurora's production?

Cortese. Because it is a magical show and is a classical show that is appealing to all ages. It allows everyone to be a kid for a couple hours.

Q. What have been some of the challenging aspects of getting this production together?

Cortese. "Peter Pan" is a musical production, not a play, meaning we do acting, dancing and singing all in one production. Choreographing the flying, flying special effects, putting the flying and fighting together, choreographing the fights have all been challenging. Maneuvering the larger-than-life set piece has also been a challenge, but amazing for the end result.

Q. What have been some of the most rewarding aspects?

Cortese. Working with the directing team has been very rewarding. The team includes assistant director Ed Perry, musical director Kristi Wright, choreographer Stephanie Jewell, stunt intern director Tim McKeown, and dance intern director Jessie Brady. As well, getting a chance to share this show with the kids and patrons watching the progression and magic has been wonderful.

Q. What do you think the audiences will like best?

Cortese. By the flying and the fight scenes; as well as the dancing. We even have our fireflies light up; there is magic everywhere onstage. We have involved audience participation and expect it to also be a major draw for people. There is something for everyone, at any age.

Q. What else is special about Spotlight's "Peter Pan?"

Cortese. Not only do you get to see magic happen onstage, but afterward you will have the opportunity to meet, take pictures with, and get autographs from, the cast.

Tickets are $10-$12; visit www.spotlight.org/.

The cast includes, from Aurora: Lexie Bailey, Noah Moberly; Batavia: Nation Henrikson, Lindsay Holwerda, Landon Keller; Downers Grove: Brian Barker; Geneva: Laura Spencer; Montgomery: Gab Harder, Sarah Martin; Naperville: Zach Honer; North Aurora: Ryan Drendel, Lauren Lanahan, Magdaliz Rivera; Oswego: Lucy Hauser, Jason Jewell, Miranda Mahoney, Emmalyn Milner; Sugar Grove: KyraJo Petit, Ben Rogers; West Chicago: Matt Scarbrough; Wheaton: Peyton Ebel; Yorkville: Alexis Dilg, Nathan Luna, Lindsay Spencer.

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