BWW Review: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at Contemporary Theater Company

BWW Review: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at Contemporary Theater Company

If you go see the Contemporary Theater Company's current production of Peter and the Starcatcher, prepare to be enchanted. This production - at times poignant, at times delightfully silly - casts a spell over the viewer with the imaginative ways it tells the backstory of Peter Pan. The play, adapted for stage by Rick Elice, is based on the 2004 book by humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Music is by Wayne Barker.

Director Maggie Cady keeps the action and story moving along quickly as the ensemble creates and performs one clever scene after another infused with puppetry, song and creative movement. This show calls to mind the pure joy and inventiveness of child's play.

The nature of this production, with many actors playing multiple roles and also portraying elements of scenery-such as parts of the ship as it sails through rough seas, a giant, growing, crocodile and the ocean as other actors dive into it-demands constant, seamless performance of every member of the cast and this cast delivers.

Kelly Robertson portrays Peter with her trademark intensity, adeptly transforming the character over the course of the story from a lost nameless boy to the familiar Peter Pan with the confident crow. Ardemis Kassabian plays Molly, the plucky starcatcher of the title with spunk and poise.

Charlie Santos (who is also celebrated on the cover of the current edition of the University of Rhode Island's Quadrangles alumni magazine) is deliciously over-the-top as the evil pirate, Black Stache, infusing this character with charisma and humor.

Ariana Pacheco plays both Molly's prim and proper governess and the flirtatious mermaid, jumping from one extreme to the other with ease.

In this production, Molly is accompanied by her mother-not father-Lady Eleanor Astor, elegantly played by Sophia May Pearson.

Erik Schlicht portrays four characters in this role, and he is outstanding as the angry Fighting Prawn, leader of the Mollusk Islanders, a role in which he is aided by a googly-eyed felt puppet. Costume designer Marissa Dufault also designed the adorable array of Mollusk Islander puppets.

Ashley Macamaux plays Black Stache's utterly devoted first mate, Smee with commitment - at one point literally carrying Black Stache around. Rounded out this excellent ensemble are Sami Avigdor as Slank, Captain Scott and Hawking Clam; Ezra Jordan as Alf; and Austin Venditelli and Owen Gilmartin as Peter's friends, Prentiss and Ted, respectively. Jean Maxon Carpenter was the music director.

A perfect way to spend a summer evening, Peter and the Starcatcher runs Fridays and Saturdays June 22 - July 28 at the Contemporary Theatre, Wakefield, RI. For more information, visit www.contemporarytheatercompany.com.



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