ROBIN’S SHOW RECOMMENDATION: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
In this innovative and imaginative new play, based on The New York Times best selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, a company of twelve talented and versatile actors plays more than a hundred characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?
The Broadway cast of Peter and the Starcatcher includes Christian Borle (NBC‟s “Smash”), as „Black Stache‟; Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal) as „Boy‟; and Celia Keenan-Bolger (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as „Molly‟. Other cast members include Teddy Bergman (Seven Minutes in Heaven), Arnie Burton (The 39 Steps), Matt D’Amico (Fizz), Kevin Del Aguila (Jacques Brel…), Carson Elrod (Reckless), Greg Hildreth (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Rick Holmes (Spamalot), Isaiah Johnson (The Merchant of Venice), David Rossmer (Don’t Quit Your Night Job), Betsy Hogg (Fiddler on the Roof), Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures), Jason Ralph (Collin Theatre Center‟s All’s Well That Ends Well), and John Sanders (Mamma Mia! National Tour).
The highly creative creative team includes Wayne Barker (Music), Steven Hoggett (Movement), Marco Paguia (Music Direction), Donyale Werle (Scenic Design), Paloma Young (Costume Design), Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design) and Darron L. West (Sound Design).
Peter and the Starcatcher is produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes and Disney Theatrical Productions.
It is no surprise that this production was just nominated for 9 Tony Awards.
The play tells the tale of a ship departing London for a place named Rundoon. Aboard is a girl named Molly (the appealing Celia Keena-Bolger), sent on a mission by her beloved father, and three orphan boys who are to be sold as slaves to Rundoon’s king. A ship led by pirate Black Stache (the delightfully demonic, quick-tongued Christian Borle) eagerly trails them because Black Stache seeks the treasure he feels is aboard the other ship.
With few props, including rope, ladders, toy boats and trunks, the adept cast capably portrays life on a crowded vessel, including crouching in a teeny cabin….and later on an island….and overboard.
The dialogue is clever and quick, with lots of laughs, particularly in Act II, which is a delight. The staging is inventive.
Occasional surprise musical numbers (riotous chorus line of mechanically endowed singing mermaids) were a welcome treat. Would have loved more of that! If fact, I could envision a full out musical version.
Tickets are currently available via Ticketmaster.com or in person at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre box office (256 West 47th Street in NYC). The theatre posts a sign recommended for kids age 10 and up.