"Peter and the Starcatcher" Offers a Mesmerizing, Magical Experience
Did you ever wonder where Peter Pan came
from and why he preferred to spend his days far away from the maddening crowd in Neverland? In "Peter and the Starcatcher,"
you'll at last learn the story behind the boy who never grew up — and why he decided to stay that way.
you think you know the story of Peter Pan, you'll find yourself rethinking all of your preconceptions as soon as the curtain
rises. The story follows the adventures of a young street urchin, an orphan boy who is on a quest to recover a cache of stardust
from a band of notorious sea captains. He is joined by a lonely, motherless girl named Molly who is equally avid for adventure.
Much of the action takes place on a ship, and the audience watches as the actors gradually evolve into the characters that
they eventually become in the classic version of "Peter Pan." During the second act, for example, Captain Black Stache loses
his hand — and in doing so, becomes the early incarnation of the notorious Captain Hook. Likewise, the young orphan boy, through
a series of heroic adventures that cement his rogue-like tendencies, ends up becoming Peter Pan.
national touring company of "Peter and the Starcatcher" features Joey deBettencourt and Megan Stern as the two leads, Boy
and Molly. Both of these young performers already have a formidable resume, having played leading roles in a variety of regional
theater performances. Also in the cast is actor John Sanders, who was in the original Broadway production. His other theater
credits include roles in the Broadway production of "Matilda" and the national touring company of "Mamma Mia!"
"Peter and the Starcatcher" is the creation of comic writer Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson.
Barry, who is best known as a syndicated humor columnist, first collaborated with Pearson in writing the original novel, "Peter
and the Starcatchers," in 2004. The story uses characters from the original 1904 play "Peter Pan," written by Scottish playwright
J. M. Barrie.
The co-directors of the show are actor Roger Rees and Alex Timbers. Rees, who is most
famous for having played multiple roles in a tour de force theatrical production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby"
in 1980, is also famous for his appearances as Lord John Marbury on TV's "The West Wing." Director Alex Timbers is a stage
veteran who also directed the popular punk rock opera production of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," as well as the dance musical
"Here Lies Love."
"Peter and the Starcatcher" has 12 actors playing not only multiple characters, but
also portraying flora, fauna and other objects. Much of the show's fun has to do with the anachronisms — such as modern references
— that pepper the dialogue. In addition, the so-called theatrical "fourth wall" is occasionally ripped away so that the actors
can speak directly to the audience.
Although the original novel is considered children's literature, this theatrical
version is actually geared for both adults and children, according to the show's producers.
and the Starcatcher" continues its national tour with performances in Minneapolis starting in March. The run will include
evening performances, as well as several afternoon matinees. The show's running time is two hours and 15 minutes. Be sure
to check online to find Peter and the Starcatcher Minneapolis tickets.