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Monday, April 16, 2012

RUN AND SEE: Peter and the Starcatcher

Peter and the Starcatcher is a new play based on the Peter Pan origin book series written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A transfer from New York Theatre Workshop (who also transfered Once uptown this season), it opened last night at the Brooks Atkinson Theater to rave reviews, and I got to go!

My friend is one of the PAs for the show, and she offered me a ticket to the performance last minute, so I threw on my party dress and headed on over. I realized that this was my first time attending a Broadway opening night. Of course, when I worked on A Life in the Theatre I was there for opening, but I was backstage. There is so much excitement going on in front of the theater before the show that those backstage have no idea about! Well, I didn't anyway. 

They had the usual step-and-repeat red carpet area where all the famous people (and there were plenty) got their picture taken, but for this show they gave everyone a mustache on a stick (a-la-Captain Hook A.K.A. Black Stache in this version) to hold up to their faces in the pictures. It was so adorable!

Ok, enough bragging. On to the show. I saw the show off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop last year, and I loved it. It had a few kinks to work out, but I thought it was so much fun! For the Broadway transfer, it is clear that they've made some changes, and all for the better I say. I don't quite know how to put into words everything I love about this show, and I will not do it justice here, but I hope I can at least inspire you to go see it for yourself. 

This show is real theater. A group of actors up on stage telling a story, inhabiting various characters, creating things out of thing air, and doing it all so well that you never lose interest or faith in them. It's minimal in a brilliant and wonderful way. The story that the cast (a true ensemble) creates with various hand props, instrumental and man-made sound effects, and each other is inspired, captivating, and hilarious. Creativity and imagination are all that's needed to make this story come alive, and there's more than enough to go around.

Beyond the great staging, the story itself is delightful. I love a good origin story. I'm big into mythology and fairy tales, so I love stories that branch out from them and add to the tale. And it may be the nostalgia of childhood that I've been wading in for the past few weeks (I've just returned from a trip to Disney World), but the show made me so happy, and a little tearful at the end (but when DOESN'T that happen). It's just silly, and creative, and tons of fun. So, RUN AND SEE Peter and the Starcatcher! Before it sells out from good reviews and Tony nominations!

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