BWW Reviews: PETER & THE STARCATCHER National Tour at North Carolina Theatre
Based on the novel Peter & the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, this play features a company of twelve actors who play more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?
The play adapted by three-time Tony nominee Rick Elice and directed by Tony nominees Roger Rees & Alex Timbers first premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in California in February 2009 before debuting off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop two years later. Peter & the Starcatcher finally opened on Broadway on April 15th, 2012 earning 9 Tony Award nominations (including Best Play).
At the beginning of this current national touring production playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts through March 15th, the entire ensemble comes out on a bare stage to introduce the audience to the world they'd be creating all throughout the night. For a show like this, it usually relies more on spectacle. But what Starcatcher does differently is that goes for more intimacy. Shawn Pennington successfully recreates the inventive staging both Rees and Timbers earned praise (and Tony nominations) for in the Broadway production. Also remaining with the tour are the Tony-Winning design team from the effective sound designs by Darren L. West; the brilliant lighting designs by Jeff Croiter; the creative scenery designed by Donyale Werle; and the wide variety of costumes designed by Paloma Young.
As for the play itself, it's a very amusing play written by Rick Elice who not only offers up some great laughs from time-to-time, but also ties this story in perfectly with the story of Peter Pan. A top-notch cast of non-union actors led by Bryan Welnicki as the Boy who'd later become Peter Pan; Aisling Haplin as the highly intelligent Molly Aster; Joe Beuerlein as the scene-chewing Black Stache, who would later become the character known as Captain Hook; Andrew Sklar as Black Stache's right hand man Smee; Andy Ingalls as starcatcher Lord Aster; Nick Lehan as the constantly hungry Ted; James Crichton as the self-important Prentiss; Tim Hackney as the prim and proper Mrs. Bumbrake; Shaun Rice as the salty Alf; Thomas DeMarcus as the fierce Fighting Prawn; Gabe Martinez as the greedy Bill Slank; and Mickey Rafalski as Captain Scott.
Peter & the Starcatcher is a very enjoyable play with very original staging that should be fun for the whole family!
For more information regarding the tour: http://peterandthestarcatcher.com/