The production was never broadcast annually. It was first telecast live on March 7, 1955 as Producers' Showcase: Peter Pan (1955) and re-staged live (by popular demand) on January 3, 1956 as Producers' Showcase: Peter Pan (1956). It was not seen again until this version was videotaped in color and telecast in 1960. Rather than re-broadcast it annually, as CBS began doing with The Wizard of Oz (1939), NBC repeated the videotaped version in 1963, 1966, and 1973. A long hiatus followed, during which this 1960 production was presumed lost. There was a new production starring Mia Farrow with a new score, Peter Pan (1976). Finally, in 1988, the original 1960 videotape of the Mary Martin version was re-discovered intact, restored and remastered, and telecast in March of 1989 - the production's first TV showing in 16 years.
Many of the camera setups, especially during the first fifteen minutes or so, are literal duplicates of the ones in Producers' Showcase: Peter Pan (1955), first telecast in 1955 and now on kinescope. The script also follows the script of the 1955 version nearly word-for-word, and many of the musical orchestrations are virtually the same.
The original Broadway production of "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" by J.M. Barrie opened at the Empire Theater on November 6, 1905, ran for 223 performances, closed on May 20, 1906 and starred stage actress Maude Adams, who died in her eighties in 1953, never made a film, and is not to be confused with the Maud Adams who appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy (1983).
During the pirate ship scene, the pirate "Checko" is depicted as being sent into a cabin in which he is killed by Pan, but it is seen during the fight scene and is show tied up along with other pirates during the finale.
Mary Martin, in the role of Peter Pan, received a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical in the 1955 Tony Awards. Cyril Ritchard won a Tony for Best Performance by a leading Actor in a Musical for his dual role as Mr. Darling and Captain James Hook. Technical Director Richard Rodda received a 1955 Tony Award for Best Stage Technician. The Los Angeles and San Francisco Civic Light Opera founder and producer Edwin Lester acquired the American rights to adapt the J. M. Barrie's 1904 play "Peter Pan" and Barrie's own novelization of "Peter and Wendy" as a stage musical for Mary Martin. The music is by Mark Charlap, with additional music by Jule Styne, most of the lyrics written by Carolyn Leigh, with additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Incidental music by Elmer Bernstein and Trude Rittman. Musical orchestrated by Albert Sendrey. Directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Scenic Design by Peter Larkin, Costume Design by Motley, Lighting Design by Peggy Clark. Flying Supervisor Peter Foy and Flying Effect by Joseph Kirby. Prior to opening in San Francisco's Geary Street theatre district's Curran Theatre, the production was rehearsed at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. During the San Francisco performance schedule, additional musical material was ordered by Jerome Robbins and Edwin Lester, revisions continued when the expensive musical transferred to Los Angeles in August, 1954. The show opened in a busy Broadway season, competing with such notable shows as The Boy Friend, Fanny, Silk Stockings, and Damn Yankees. However, while still in Los Angeles, a deal was made for the musical to be broadcast on the NBC's Color Television network 90 minute anthology series "Producers' Showcase," that aired every fourth Monday, on March 7, 1955. "Peter Pan" opened on Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on 20 October 1954, with a limited run of 152 performances, closing 26 February 1955, closed so that it could be broadcast on television, although box office continued to be strong throughout the Broadway run. The aim of the "Producers' Showcase" was to broadcast expensive color spectaculars to promote the new color television system developed by NBC's parent company RCA. On March 7, 1955, NBC presented "Peter Pan" live as part of "Producer's Showcase" as the first full-length Broadway production on color TV. This 1955 NBC television production utilized the same Broadway theatre where the musical had been performing with the color television cameras situated throughout the theater's main floor and balcony seating areas. The television show attracted a then-record viewing audience of 65 million viewers, the highest ever up to that time for a single television broadcast program. Marry Martin won an Emmy award for the 1955 television production. So well received that the musical was re-staged live for television on 9 January 1956 with the same cast, sets, and costumes. Both of these broadcasts were produced live and in color, but only black-and-white kine-scope recordings survive.The telecast special followed with rebroadcasts in 1956, and in 1960 with the same stars, production costumes, and scenery. The re-staged 1960 telecast had new children in the cast because the original kids had grown too old for their parts. The musical has enjoyed several revivals onstage in 1979, 1990, 1998. Following the successful 1955/56 "Peter Pan" telecast, the NBC Color network mounted a television production of Irving Berlin's Broadway stage musical "Annie Get Your Gun," directed by Vincent J. Donehue, starring Mary Martin as Annie Oakley and John Raitt as Frank Butler, William O'Neal as William Frederick 'Buffalo Bill' Cody. Telecast live as part of the "Producer's Showcase," in color from the NBC Burbank Studios #2 and #4, with an audience, on 27 November 1957.