Recounting the more than century-long stage and screen history of J.M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, Bruce K. Hanson updates and expands his 1993 volume on The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Hanson traces the origin of Barrie's tale through the first London production in 1904, to various British and American theatrical and film productions up to and including the stage versions of 2010. Included are excerpts of interviews with actresses Dinah Sheridan, Mary Martin and Sandy Duncan, all of whom portrayed Peter Pan on stage, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyricists for the 1954 Broadway musical. The book features a wealth of rare photos, posters, programs and costume designs. An appendix lists virtually every actor who has performed a featured role in a London, Broadway or Hollywood production of Peter Pan from 1904 to the present.
Over a century after its first stage performance, Peter Pan has become deeply embedded in Western popular culture, as an enduring part of childhood memories, in every part of popular media, and in commercial enterprises. Since 2003 the characters from this story have had a highly visible presence in nearly every genre of popular culture: two major films, a literary sequel to the original adventures, a graphic novel featuring a grown-up Wendy Darling, and an Argentinean novel about a children's book writer inspired by J. M. Barrie. Simultaneously, Barrie surfaced as the subject of two major biographies and a feature film. The engaging essays in Second Star to the Right approach Pan from literary, dramatic, film, television, and sociological perspectives and, in the process, analyze his emergence and preservation in the cultural imagination.