A delightful and exciting origin story the whole family can enjoy!
Join a swashbuckling, mad-cap adventure aboard the good ship Neverland! Before Peter was Pan, he was just an orphan who didn’t like grown ups. But his future changes forever when the lost boy boards a pirate ship, and we’re whisked away on a breathtaking adventure to answer the question: how did a boy named Peter become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? Fun for the whole family, the five-time Tony Award-winning show features a dozen actors playing more than 100 unforgettable characters. This innovative, hilarious, and imaginative prequel to Peter Pan will have you HOOKed the moment you let your imagination take flight.
Clinton Brandhagen, Lord Leonard Aster
Andrew Carlyle, Ted
Ollie Corchado, Grempkin / Mack / Sanchez / Hawking Clam
Jamal Crowelle, Captain Robert Falcon Scott
Joanna Howard, Molly Aster
Sean Mellott, Prentiss
Andy Paterson, Mrs. Bumbrake / Teacher
Jose Restrepo, Smee
Arturo Soria, Bill Slank / Fighting Prawn
Tom Story, Black Stache
Nick Vannoy, Alf
Noah Zachary, Boy (Peter)
Night has come, and the day is done. We cuddle in our pjs and hold our dearest stuffed animal close. Our head rests gently on the pillow, and we are ready.
Now is the time for the bedtime story.
A great bedtime story will make us giggle, it will make us wonder, it will help us get ready for dreams and, perhaps most of all, it will help us realize that we are safe in this world.
That’s the kind of story being told at the Milwaukee Rep, where “Peter and the Starcatcher” opened this week.
It’s a story that is full of laughter, some of the funniest stuff scene on a Milwaukee stage this season. It’s got everything that a bedtime story should have. There are heroes and villains, there is a secret mission, a secret treasure, a boy and a girl, threats, drama on the high seas, good and evil, and a happy ending as you close your eyes and drift off to a gentle and warm sleep.
The play is based on a novel written Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The adaptation by Rick Elice had a nice run on Broadway and won Tony awards. It’s a story that carried an opening night audience on the wings of imagination.
The story is a prequel to the wondrous life of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
It’s such a simple story. A 13-year-old orphan with no name and no home takes off into a life filled with joys and sorrows, fear and courage. And as the play moves on, he gets a name, a name that gives full identity to the legend that he becomes.
This large cast of actors is sublime. They take turns moving the play along with bits of narrative that both seduce and amuse. The story bounces along on the a collective sense of humor where everyone laughs at the same time.
There is such joy in the humor, potty humor of flatulence and burps and sophisticated humor that takes much of it from our current lives.
We are transported to distant lands where an island king serenades us with a modern day rap, to ships being tossed by a roiling sea.
Se are faced with questions like what makes a leader and how do you be a loyal friend.
Everything about this play is joyful hilarity. It’s about the way we all search for the way we can escape gravity and how surprising it can be when we find out that we all have a way to get there.
All it takes is a ride on our own S. S. Neverland to find out how to fly.
This final production for the Rep this season is everything great about live theater. This is not just theater that is live it is theater that is full of life. It’s great for adults and great for children, and who could ask for more.
As Molly, the object of his affection, tells Peter in all seriousness: “All you need is star stuff, and you can be anything you want.”
Theatrical magic, music and serious “Starstuff” conjure a stunning evening on the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater . To end their season, Milwaukee Rep presents Peter and the Star Catcher, a prequel to James M. Barrie‘s 1904 story of the beloved character living in Neverland, Peter Pan. In the multiple Tony Award-winning production written by Rick Elice, Peter Pan’s origins take the audience on a star-crossed journey, complete with super-sized crocodiles, sneering pirates, swaying mermaids and mollusks-who dance Busby Berkeley style to Wayne Barker‘s clever music. What an adventure to put a twinkle in the eyes of any audience over the age eight!
A show co-produced with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the company’s Artistic Director Blake Robinson adroitly steers the helm on these two ships, the Neverland and the Wasp, in a seafaring journey to save Queen Victoria’s treasure. When a highly capable, cheeky and intelligent teenager Molly meets the homeless, nameless Boy in the underbelly of the good ship Neverland, stars appear in each of their eyes while they become a team and accomplish “things against impossible odds.”
Along the way, innovative Scenic Designer James Kronzer captures the vision created by the Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson novel the musical was based on in the numerous scenes from an 1885 setting. David Mickelson’s inventive and outrageous costumes steal several scenes, while the stage sky overhead literally glows covered with bulbs hung from the ceiling to cast an aura over the imagined sea. A production filled with bright stars, a meteoric cast includes Joanna Howard, who plays the indomitable Molly to Noah Zachary‘s transformation from Boy into the brave Peter Pan. Their unmistakable chemistry dives into the heart of production, “not sentimental, but inside the strong” because “things are only worth what you’re willing to give up for them.”
Added to heart, over-the-top performances by a poetic pirate personified by Tom Story dressed as captain Black Stache and his playful henchman Smee, a faithful Jose Restrepo, who present the evil duo’s comic antics. On the Wasp, a swarmy Bill Slank masked as Arturo Soria captains the ship through a storm that splinters the Neverland into pieces so everyone aboard the two ships crashes on the Island of Randoon, a place inhabited by fearsome mollusks who feed lost boys to a cranky crocodile, Mr. Grin.
Costumes absolutely shine in these scenes while comic quipt transfer from actor to audience: Where there are “pirates with panache,” or events which can be “as elusive as the melody in a Glass opera,” lines that keep the mind and eye equally engaged with comic repartee or double entendre. Be sure to keep an eye on Andy Paterson’s Mrs. Brumbrake together with Nick Vannoy‘s Alf, a beguiling stage couple.
While Boy may be homeless and nameless, and pirates rule the ocean to thwart good deeds, Molly’s mysterious amulet filled with “starstuff” indeed creates magic and miracles where the stars on stage illuminate the theater. The enchanting fun and frolic lightens the heart. In these days where violence burns in Baltimore, Nepal is wracked with a devastating earthquake, and all too often disasters can dampen any ordinary day with despair, theater rescues the human spirit.
In this production at the Rep, discover a ship’s bounty of entertaining joy, although hard-won and bittersweet in the ending, this overcomes any anxiety or sorrow, even those places where “it’s supposed to hurt-because that means it’s supposed to mean something,” Theater definitely provides the antidote to the world’s or persoal tragedies, laughter mingled often with tears, for day-to-day survival. Amid the production’s delightful frivolity overlies down to that deep end of the ocean optimism.
Gifts the audience will use to catch one of these amazing moments from The Rep’s enlightening Peter and the Star Catcher. Moments to put in their “metaphorical pocket” and save for a rainy day. An hour or week when joy eludes the spirit that can be replaced with memories when a newly christened Peter and Molly believed “against all odds, the impossible can happen’ or “To have faith is to have wings.”
Have faith, fly with Peter, and find the wings of laughter, song, and stories,, “starstuff’ with,the great power to heal the soul in a wondrous evening celebrating imagination, finding a family, home wherever that might be, and most enduring of all, hope in the future.