BWW JR: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER- Childlike Sophistication
Just like there are all kinds of adult theatre-goers, there are varying tastes among kids. Some are just working on sitting still for ninety minutes or more, while others are more seasoned audience members craving a bit more depth. This is where Peter and the Starcatcher fits in. It's perfect for kids because the story is about children and is presented with childlike fascination and a creative innocence that would appeal to both children and adults. But this show is sophisticated in its youthful tone…an exuberant, story-theatre approach mixed with cutting wit and clever conceits that will give you something to think about while dazzling you with color and adventure.
This is the prequel to Peter Pan, explaining how Peter and the Lost Boys captured the secret of eternal youth, how they came to meet Captain Hook and a few other magical mysteries. Fans of Peter Pan will enjoy being able to put together the aha moments ("So THAT's how Captain Hook REALLY lost his hand!") and the self-aware theatrical style with occasional modern references will entertain and help to sustain a juvenile attention span.
That said, to fully absorb this fast-paced tale takes a bit of focus, and it might be too much for a very young or unseasoned theatre-going kid. Between the speed and the Brittish accents, there's a lot that might go over a child's head. But for a kid who's accustomed to enjoying live theatre, it just might be the best thing they've ever seen.
Despite being quite genius in it's theatrical conceits, the show is incredibly low-tech and almost vaudevillian at times. A rope becomes a flight of stairs. A few well-placed vegetable steamers transform a cast of men into women (yup). Watching this show made me think of how my daughter and her friends can create houses and cars and schools out of scraps of materials that they collect…I get annoyed when she won't let me throw out an empty egg carton, but in a few minutes it's been transformed into a space shuttle. Perhaps the designers are themselves Lost Boys who never fully grew up but managed to get Broadway gigs anyway.
I recommend the show for a mature eight or nine year old and up. It's a perfect show to share with your child, and a good example of how rich a blank canvas of stage can become when painted with an explosion of imagination.
GET TO THE POINT, MOM!
- The prequel to Peter Pan told in low-tech, highly imaginative story-theatre style.
- Sophisticated in it's youthfulness, the things that make this show perfect for older kids might make it difficult for younger kids (or those with short attention spans) to get through.
- Perfect for families, but best for a mature eight year old or older.
- For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the show's website: http://peterandthestarcatcher.com/
- The Lost Boys would make GREAT set designers! (And in this case, a Lost Girl named Donyale Werle was nominated for a TONY!)