- CHARITY BENEFIT
Run do not walk to get tickets for Peter and the Starcatcher, the prequel to “Peter Pan.” This Broadway show is one of the best shows I saw last season off-Broadway and it does not disappoint this season either. Directed by Roger Rees, aka Gomez Adams, and Alex Timbers, it is little wonder that it is reminiscent of Nicholas Nickleby, considering Rees was its star. Christian Borle as Black Stache (aka a pre-Captain Hook) is a magical presence and such a joy to watch. Borle oozes every emotion through his body like an Alan Rickmen, Geoffrey Rush, or a Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, all rolled into one.
The show itself is so well done with ships at sea, magical effects, and a cast that embodies this creativity. Peter and the Starcatcher is part story-theater, part Vaudeville, part melodrama, and loads of fun with lots of heart and soul.
Based on a contemporary novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the stage adaptation is by Rick Elice, who co-wrote “Jersey Boys.” This brings a balance of sincerity and giddy humor, and along the way you find out who is the mother of Wendy, Michael, and John, and how Captain Hook lost his hand, as well as the how and why of the Lost Boys, the crocodile and Tinker Bell.
Though the cast is terrific, Celia Keenan-Bolger stands out as the only female in the show as a 13 year old teetering on the verge of childhood and beyond. The hilarious Arnie Burton as Mrs. Bumbrake and thescene stealing, complex Borle’s breakout performance as Black Stache were also stand outs.
Donyale Werle’s set is a child’s paradise and a theatre-goers visual dream; Jeff Croiter perfectly lights Werle’s vision. Paloma Young’s costumes draw us into the fantastical period and Steven Hoggett’s choreographic movements help in maintaining the overall image. And I especially loved the music by Wayne Barker.
Peter and the Starcatcher: Brooks Atkinson Theatre 256 West 47th Street.
Christian Borle (Black Stache), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Molly), Adam Chanler-Berat (Boy), Teddy Bergman (Fighting Prawn), Arnie Burton (Mrs. Bumbrake), Matt D’Amico (Slank/Hawking Clam), Kevin Del Aguila (Smee), Carson Elrod (Prentiss), Greg Hildreth (Alf), Rick Holmes (Lord Aster), Isaiah Johnson (Captain Scott), and David Rossmer (Ted).