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Patricia Rettig
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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
United States
Indiana
Indianapolis, IN
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Former 'Peter Pan' lands new role in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre production

by Patricia Rettig
June 14, 2015
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-9664
Suzanne Stark is performing at Beef & Boards in a show she knows well – from pretty much every angle. But the current production of Peter Pan is giving her a new perspective.

As Mrs. Darling, the mother of Wendy, Michael and John, Suzanne sings the children to sleep in their nursery and confides in her husband that she saw a mysterious boy appear at the window a few nights before. When she leaves with him to attend a dinner, Mrs. Darling pleads to the "night lights" in the sky to watch over her sleeping children.

There was a time Suzanne herself appeared at the window as Peter Pan – the mysterious boy who would not grow up. She, too, soared among the night lights, second star to the right and on until morning, to Neverland and the adventures that awaited.

"I played the role of Peter at Civic Theatre at the end of 1984," Suzanne recalled, adding the production was directed by Loretta Yoder, and orchestra directed by Kyle Latshaw. Captain Hook was played by Bernard Wurger.

"If I had to choose one moment in my performance career as my favorite, I think it would be the moment I flew through the Darling nursery window the first time into the lights and I heard the audience gasp with delight," she said.

Little did they know, but Suzanne wasn't "flying" through the window by herself!

"I found out I was expecting a baby (my third child, Josh) after I accepted the role," she chimed. "And with my doctor's permission and blessing, I went ahead as planned."

Because it was early in her pregnancy, her condition didn't interfere too much with her ability to play a young boy, although it came close to being a problem toward the end of the run.

"I think the last day I put on the flying gear, my crew guys said I was on the last hole in the buckle!"

But it was a dream come true for the local actress.

"I had watched and adored the Mary Martin televised Peter Pan as a child and I had fervently wished to play Peter. So truly, it was a dream role for me and I had an absolute blast.

"Ironically, I wore my hair long at that time and had to cut it for the role, but even though I thought it was sooooooo short, I wear my hair even shorter now!"

Her involvement with the musical continued through the years in a new position.

"I directed the first Peter Pan that was presented at Beef & Boards (in 1996) and also the production in 2003," she said.

Now she's "landed" a new role on stage in the timeless musical.

When she's playing Mrs. Darling, Suzanne admits to feeling sentimental. Now a grandmother, she sings the children to sleep with the tenderness she feels for her own children and young grandchildren.

And when she plays the brief part of grown-up Wendy at the end of the musical, she appropriately tells Peter that she can no longer fly away to Neverland.

Because, like the rest of us, she grew up.

"I couldn't help it."

Peter Pan is on stage through July 3 in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $40 to $65 and include Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet, prepared in-house for each performance, and select beverages. Parking is always free.

Because Peter Pan is Beef & Boards' 2015 Family Show, there is a $10 discount off the regular ticket price for children ages 3-15 for all performances.

For reservations, call the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. Discounts are available to groups of 20 or more; contact the Group Sales Department for more details.

For more information, including complete show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.
Mrs. Darling (Suzanne Stark) sings her children to sleep in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's production of Peter Pan, now on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

Mrs. Darling (Suzanne Stark) sings her children to sleep in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's production of Peter Pan, now on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.


Mrs. Darling (Suzanne Stark), left, tells her husband Mr. Darling (Jeff Stockberger) about a mysterious boy she saw at the window of their nursery in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's production of Peter Pan, now on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

Mrs. Darling (Suzanne Stark), left, tells her husband Mr. Darling (Jeff Stockberger) about a mysterious boy she saw at the window of their nursery in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's production of Peter Pan, now on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.


Suzanne Stark

Suzanne Stark


Suzanne Stark (left) plays the role of Peter Pan with Bernard Wurger as Captain Hook in Civic's 1984 production of the show. Suanne plays Mrs. Darling in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's current production of Peter Pan, on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

Suzanne Stark (left) plays the role of Peter Pan with Bernard Wurger as Captain Hook in Civic's 1984 production of the show. Suanne plays Mrs. Darling in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's current production of Peter Pan, on stage through July 3. Featuring $10 discounts off regularly-priced tickets for all children ages 3-15, this show also includes Chef Odell Ward's family-friendly dinner buffet and select beverages. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

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