NY1 Theater Review: "Peter And The Starcatcher"
Fresh from its hit run off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop, "Peter and the Starcatcher" is now flying high at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
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"Peter And The Starcatchers", a prequel to the Peter Pan story by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is aimed at young readers. But the wonderful adventure yarn, so clever at connecting the dots, can be equally appealing to adults. Translating its 450 pages to the stage is quite a tall order, though, for any age, given its complement of sea-faring pirates, mermaids, monsters and magical effects. But I’m very pleased to report, thanks to theatrical magic, the story of Peter’s move to Broadway ends very happily ever after.
Starting with Rick Elice’s richly imaginative adaptation, directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers' fast-paced staging is delightfully low-tech, relying on improvisational techniques and crude props.
Granted, the story-telling can be a bit confusing with multiple narrators and a mountain of exposition. But once the creative team taps into their seemingly endless bag of tricks, it's full steam ahead. Leaning heavily on slap-shtick and pop cultural references, the production's music, set design, costumes and movement are all in whimsical sync.
The cast's versatility allows the action to careen effortlessly from off-the-wall antic humor to touching sincerity.
Happily, the returning principals are better than ever. Adam Chanler-Berat as the sweetly brooding Peter, Arnie Burton’s spot-on, feisty Mrs. Bumbrake, Celia Keenan-Bolger’s adorably spunky Molly; and best of all, Christian Borle’s deliriously outrageous Captain Hook, aka Black Stache. Delivering the year’s most original over-the-top performance, he is sure to have you 'hooked'.
It's easy to get lost in this show but the fun of watching "Peter and The Starcatcher" has less to do with 'what’s happening' than the 'how'. Moment to moment, the superb company, led by Christian Borle’s virtuoso comic turn, virtually guarantees your Neverland adventure is a joyous one.