Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

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/




From This Author - Jeffrey Karasarides

Jeffrey Kare currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. Having been born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Jeffrey took interest in live theater at age 11. He also had the great pleasure of seeing s... (read more about this author)


Interview: Chatting With Cora Hemphill & Tim Arts of Firebox Theatre CompanyInterview: Chatting With Cora Hemphill & Tim Arts of Firebox Theatre Company
December 2, 2022

One of the newer theatre companies in the Triangle Area is Firebox Theatre Company. It's located in Wake Forest, North Carolina. I had the great pleasure of interviewing both of the founders, Cora Hemphill & Tim Artz, about all of this and more.

Review: HAIRSPRAY National Tour at Durham Performing Arts CenterReview: HAIRSPRAY National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
November 17, 2022

Based on John Waters' 1988 cult film of the same name, Hairspray takes place in Baltimore, Maryland in the year 1962. The story centers on a plump teenage girl named Tracy Turnblad, whose lifelong dream is to dance on the local TV dance program known as The Corny Collins Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show and becomes an overnight sensation, she launches a campaign to integrate the show.

Review: North Carolina Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIASReview: North Carolina Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIAS
November 6, 2022

Set in Chinquapin, Louisiana during the late 1980s, Steel Magnolias takes place in Truvy's beauty salon where all the ladies who are 'anybody' come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to several of her friends.

Interview: Kathleen Garrett of North Carolina Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIASInterview: Kathleen Garrett of North Carolina Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIAS
November 2, 2022

From November 4th-13th, North Carolina Theatre will be launching their 2022-23 season with a production of Robert Harling's STEEL MAGNOLIAS at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theatre, which is located inside Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Actress Kathleen Garrett is taking on the role of Ouiser Boudreaux. She has most recently appeared as Laura Bush on the Showtime series, THE FIRST LADY, as well as Netflix's Emmy nominated miniseries, INVENTING ANNA. Next, she'll be seen on NCIS: LOS ANGELES. She has countless other screen credits which includes appearing on episodes of different TV shows such as HOME IMPROVEMENT, ER, MURDER, SHE WROTE, MURPHY BROWN, THE WEST WING, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, LAW & ORDER, and many more. She's also appeared in Oscar nominated films such as 2007's AMERICAN GANGSTER directed by Ridley Soctt and 2020's THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 directed by Aaron Sorkin. I had the great pleasure of interviewing her about a lot of this and more.

Review: FROZEN National Tour at Durham Performing Arts CenterReview: FROZEN National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
September 16, 2022

Based on Disney's 2013 Academy Award-winning animated movie musical of the same name as well as Hans Christian Andersen's 1844 fairy tale, The Snow Queen, Frozen follows two royal sisters named Anna and Elsa. Read our review of the stage show, based on the blockbuster film, which eventually became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time at the worldwide box office (before it was eventually dethroned by Frozen II six years later).