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BWW Review: Synetic Streaming Version of THE ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN an Enduring Classic

Synetic Streaming Version of THE ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN an Enduring Classic

BWW Review:  Synetic Streaming Version of THE ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN an Enduring Classic

As we begin to exhale, and look ahead to a (still somewhat remote) future when we can return to our beloved live theatre, local companies are creating streaming sites to remind us just how precious our artists truly are. Now is the time for audiences to step up, and remind these artists how grateful we are, and how much we look forward to seeing the live again.

Synetic Theatre, with its international reputation for visual splendor and spectacle, has transitioned to the Web, and if you have followed their work in years past now would be a great time to offer your support, enjoy some of their brand-new, COVID-times videos, but also to re-connect with their finest moments on the live stage.

The gems on their streaming site are many, but I want to take a moment to talk about the pleasure to be had, when you revisit their adaptation of James Barrie's classic tale, The Adventures of Peter Pan. Originally staged in the Fall of 2017, this archived film of the show's final performance shows Synetic at their balletic peak, with more than a dollop of witty dialogue and memorable characters. Ed Monk's adaptation gives greater depth and pathos to the story, which has its moments of whimsy and satire, but which also explores the darker side as well.

Alex Mills, whose performances have always been a frenetic joy to watch, gives us a Peter who is as dynamic and hilarious as ever, and with Zana Gankhyag as his shadow, there are ample opportunities for high gymnastics, from their opening pas-de-deux onward. Irina Tsikurishvili's petulant, snarky Tinkerbell (staged here as the spirit of Peter's sister) is thoroughly enjoyable, and Kendra Rai's costume for our perky sprite remains a light show in its own right.

The movable set pieces designed by Daniel Pinha remain a marvel, and the supporting cast makes the transition from wilderness to ship to the Darling home seamless. As the bad guy, Ryan Sellers is in high, ridiculous dudgeon as Captain Hook, accompanied by his assistant/grammarian/drama coach Smee, played by Nathan Weinberger in as rotund a get-up as you have ever seen (prompting visual gags galore).

As with many Synetic productions, the poetic license taken with the original tale can be confusing, even for those who think they're familiar with the story line already. The synopses included in the original programs would provide viewers of their streaming service with a much-needed aid. I find the synopses actually enhance the pleasure of watching the show, because I can better appreciate the ways in which movement and narrative complement each other.

Soon - and very soon, we hope - we will all be able to gather together at Synetic's subterranean theatre in Crystal City and thrill to their latest exploits. But for as long as we may have to wait for that day, Synetic's streaming service is a gift, and a great way to introduce newcomers to their unique, invaluable artistry.

Production Photo: Ana Tsikurishvili as Tinkerbell. Photo by Johnny Shryock.

Running Time: 1 hour and 47 minutes (intermission/breaks optional).

The Adventures of Peter Pan is only one of many Synetic productions now available on streaming video. For access and for more information, visit:

https://syneticstreaming.uscreen.io/catalog


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