The "Girls" actress and daugthter of NBC anchor Brian Williams will star in the network's live musical production in December. The official word:
“Girls” star and classically trained singer Allison Williams has been cast as the iconic title character in NBC’s Dec. 4 telecast of “Peter Pan Live!”
“We couldn’t be happier that Allison Williams is our Peter Pan,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “She’s a lovely rising star on the award-winning show ‘Girls’ -- where she occasionally shows off her incredible vocal talent -- and we think she will bring the perfect blend of ‘boyish’ vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken’s powerful Captain Hook.”
"Allison Williams is a major find," said executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. "She will reinvent the iconic role of Peter Pan with her wit, her warmth, her dynamic flying and her wonderful musical abilities. The score will be sung beautifully and introduced to a whole new generation of families."
“I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true,” said Williams. "It’s such an honor to be a part of this adventure, and I’m very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides,” added Williams, "what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?"
Williams, who has sung on HBO’s “Girls” and in various other projects, is an accomplished actress and singer. Since graduating from Yale University in 2010, she has starred as Marnie Michaels on the twice Emmy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning “Girls.”
Williams recorded several songs (as Marnie) for the “Girls” soundtrack, and videos of her singing online that she made prior to “Girls" have gained millions of views. Williams has also appeared on “The Mindy Project” and “The League."
NBC recently announced that Oscar winner and Emmy and Tony Award nominee Christopher Walken will star as Captain Hook in the Dec. 4 telecast.
The original Broadway production of “Peter Pan,” directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap & Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne & Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances.
While Martin earned a Tony playing Peter on Broadway, other actresses have taken on the role for different Broadway productions. Sandy Duncan was the title character in the 1979 stage version and Cathy Rigby portrayed Peter throughout the 1990s on the Great White Way.
Martin and Ritchard reprised their Broadway roles in a live telecast of the production which aired on NBC in 1955. The production was so popular that NBC followed it in 1956 with a second live telecast -- and in 1960 with a videotaped version, both also starring Martin and Ritchard. The 1960 videotaped version was rebroadcast in 1963, 1966 and 1973 and was released on home video in 1990.