Wish Upon A Star 10th Anniversary Production! By Gina Campo
May 02, 2016 02:12PM
● By Elena Hutslar
Leslie Noel, founder and director, and Sierra Dee, musical director, present a donation from the Peter Pan Foundation to Children's Hospital Oakland on April 6
The Peter Pan Foundation (PPF) is performing its 10th anniversary production of its signature original musical, Wish Upon A Star, at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill on Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds go to Children’s Hospital Oakland, which has received significant donations from the foundation over the years.
This magical show follows Peter Pan and friends on an enchanted musical journey through all the classic stories and features beloved fairytale characters, with princesses, heroes, villains and more. With a cast of more than 200 performers, ranging in age from four to sixty, this ambitious production is a delight for all audiences. To keep the show current and relevant, writer and director Leslie Noel has updated this year’s show with a few new characters and musical numbers. As an actor performing in her seventh Wish Upon a Star show, high school senior Jordan Ben-Shmuel is sentimental about this production. “This year is special for me because I get to play Peter Pan as a graduating senior in the 10th anniversary show. The PPF has been a huge part of my family’s life for eight years, and it’s an honor to be a part of this.”
As an original cast member from the very first Wish Upon A Star, Sierra Dee explains what keeps her coming back year after year, as a performer and now, as the show’s musical director. “What makes this show special is its ability to bring so many different types of people together: adults, children, families, college kids. They keep coming back allowing us to watch them grow. The best part of being a member of this musical and PPF are the memories I get to relive each year and the new friendships I make.”
While the Peter Pan Foundation may be best known for this spectacular annual production, they perform other musical productions throughout the year and are equally proud of the money they raise for Children’s Hospital Oakland, as well as their ongoing community service works. President and founder Leslie Noel says, “The Peter Pan Foundation, inspired by our original Peter Pan, the late Steffen Ryge, was founded to inspire children of all ages to find their inner talents and confidence, to help them reach their personal potential, and find the best versions of themselves, on and off the stage. They are instilled with confidence, develop strength of character, and enhance creativity, all while engaging in philanthropy.”
When asked what makes this show so endearing and enduring, Ms. Noel replied, “I think this show touches so many people because everyone has a little Peter Pan inside -- a child who never truly grows up, but who has the power to teach the world to fly.” Come and enjoy the magic of this special 10th anniversary production of Wish Upon A Star, May 28-30, at the Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center, 321 Golf Club Rd., Pleasant Hill. Full-length performances are 2pm and 7pm, May 28-30, with shadow cast performances May 29-30 at 10am. Tickets may be purchased by clicking the box office link at www.peterpanfoundation.org.