And he brings ‘Peter Pan’ with him.
by Marene Gustin
Photo by Otto Kitsinger
Trey McIntyre, the lanky former Houston Ballet student, dancer, and choreographer, returns to the city this month as the company revives his first full-length ballet, Peter Pan. The ballet, based on the book by Sir James M. Barrie, was a hit when it premiered here in 2002 with music by Sir Edward Elgar and arranged by Niel DePonte, fabulous scenery by Thomas Boyd, and punk-inspired costumes by Broadway designer Jeanne Button.
It’s a wonderful production that
enthralls, with Peter as a wild boy with flame-red standup hair, tattered clothes, and temper tantrums; a scary Captain Hook with a huge claw-like animated hook; the Darling parents in stoic masks; and nannies that are seven feet tall. There’s still more fun with a ticking crocodile that lumbers across the stage, an impressive pirate ship set, and the superb aerial dancing.
And it’s all just as magical and fantastic as it was eleven years ago.
“Time flies!” laughs McIntyre. “I can’t believe it was that long ago. But I like the ballet even better now—the story seems even richer to me.”
Told from the perspective of the Darling children, everything in the ballet seems larger than life and slightly dark. But it’s not too scary for children. “On one hand, it’s a very simple story that children can enjoy,” says McIntyre. “But on the other hand, it’s a very complex story that adults can relate to.”
Peter Pan may be one of McIntyre’s most beloved ballets, but it’s hardly his only one. Since leaving Houston Ballet, McIntyre has choreographed works for American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, and Ballet de Santiago in Chile. Along the way he’s racked up a Choo San Goh Award for Choreography and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
And, in 2004, he started his own company, the Trey McIntyre Project based in Boise, Idaho, with his then-partner John Michael Schert as executive director. Schert recently retired from the company, and the couple ended their eight-year relationship.
At 6’6”, the choreographer is still interested in a relationship and would be quite the catch. He was a People magazine Bachelor of the Year in 2003—one of the hottest winners and one of only a few gay bachelors to make the famous list.
But would he legally marry should the Supreme Court rule to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act this summer? “Of course,” he says. “I get why marriage is important, not just for the legal benefits, but also standing up in front of your family and friends and making that commitment for life. It’s important.”
Although McIntyre will be back in Houston for the opening night of Peter Pan, he won’t be able to stay around for the Pride events the following week. But he might catch some of the Pride festivities back in Boise. “We’re a small town compared to Houston,” he says. “But we have a very active GLBT community here. We have a big Pride celebration every year.”
So what’s next for McIntyre?
“This fall I’ll start on a new one-act dance set to music from Queen.”
Oh my God, ballet and Freddy Mercury? This just might be better than Peter Pan.
What: Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan
When: June 13–23
Where: Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Avenue
Marene Gustin also writes about Hotel Faust and Dixie’s Tupperware Party in this issue of OutSmart magazine.