Peter and the Starcatcher:
Show, Cast and Crew are a Bright Star on Broadway!
A SoundPress.net Event Feature by Rich and Laura Lynch

Peter and The Starcatcher puts a new spin on the story of Peter Pan - the boy who never grew up. The Broadway play is based on the 2006 best selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The book has been adapted to the stage with over 100 characters bringing Peter's imaginative narrative to life.

Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway
Peter and the Starcatcher at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York.

In 2012, Peter and The Starcatcher won 5 Tony Awards including one for Best Performance Actor. It is currently running at the Brooks Atkinson Theater located at 256 West 47th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue ) in New York City. Soundpress.net attended an evening performance on June 16, 2012.

The Brooks Atkinson Theater is an elegant and ornate venue - that contrasted the bleak stage backdrop of act one which takes place in an orphanage and on vintage vessels. The scene opens on a group of orphans clad in shabby clothes with Peter and two other boys being sold into slavery. Their narrative turns into an adventure on a ship named the Never Land where they meet Molly. A secondary storyline unfolds with Captain Scott sailing The Wasp.

Their tales and others are intertwined and involved the two boats carrying trunks. One box was filled with starstuff and the other with jewels of the ruling monarch Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Of course a story with ships should have pirates and the lead villain here was the comical Black Stache. The various plots were told through amusing dialogue and animated songs with some contemporary references mixed in.

Peter and The Starcatcher compelled us to use our imagination. The set design was stark forcing the cast to be creative with simple props. At one point the boats encountered rough seas which were expressed visually by the waving of a rope and the cast swaying in unison. Yet, these techniques worked and made sense in the context of telling the eternal child's tale.

The cast also performed as different crew members on each ship similar to how a kid might play various roles in a game. Again the use of the mind added to the effect of the storytelling. The play deals with disappointments and dreams as Peter tells Molly about the misery of the orphanage and his hope for a home and a better world. The first act concluded with the boats heading to an island.

The curtain drops and a painting of mermaids and a seascape was displayed. The second act opened in front of the artwork with the mostly male ensemble dancing and singing in the funny role of mermaids. Their colorful costumes were made up of odds and ends such as kitchen utensils in another display of imaginative creativity. The curtain rises and a jungle landscape was exposed as a bright change from the opening set.

Peter and the others arrived at the island for more adventures, music and threats including an angry alligator. By the end, we knew how Tinker Bell came to be, why Captain Hook (Black Stache) lost his hand and that Peter Pan would enjoy being a child for future escapades.

Peter and The Starcatcher was an engaging production that easily exercised the mind. It was entertaining and the humor and music left one leaving the theater in good sprits and hopeful that dreams do come true!

As we exited the venue a few patrons who noticed that we had been taking notes told us to make sure to add that the woman who didn't like Peter Pan and the man who didn't care for musicals -- loved the show. Chalk that reaction up to the power of the stars on stage and the magic of starstuff in action!

Related Links: For more information on PETER AND THE STARCATCHER and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Peter and the Starcatcher | Brooks Atkinson Theatre

(Originally Published on June 20, 2012)

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