“Peter and the Starcatcher” Brings Neverland to the Orpheum Theatre

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Peter and the Starcatcher playing at the Orpheum doesn’t need faith, trust, or pixie dust to sweep you off your feet. From the moment the show began to the moment it ended, I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. The cast is so wonderfully adept at creating scenes using their bodies and only a few generic props (they use rope to creative doorways, rooms, and even stairwells!), I was engaged every minute. And even that fantastic display wasn’t what hooked me, brilliant as it was. It was the story this potluck of characters have to tell — which they do wonderfully, with zeal and impeccable diction. This show is as engaging as it is organic, adventurous, and nostalgic.

Megan Sterne as the courageous, kind-hearted, captivating Molly wowed me. She was endlessly clever in how she delivered her lines. Sterne also had the spunk that only self-righteous children possess and I honestly forgot that she wasn’t a thirteen-year-old. All in all, I found Molly more interesting than Peter. Don’t get me wrong, Joey DeBettencourt was excellent in his role, but in a much quieter way. He was heartfelt and portrayed the helplessness of being young and alone accurately. But Peter’s hatred of adults could’ve been toned down a bit and there weren’t a lot of good scenes for his character, though he is the most essential person in the show, but I digress.

What fairytale is complete without a villain? Luckily, we are not without a foe in Peter. Black Stache, hilariously played by John Sanders, is by far the character that stands out the most in this production. From flamboyant, to treacherous, to just plain clumsy, Sanders can do it all. He even looks like an animated character on stage! Really, he is so diabolically clever with his characterization and movements, I fear my review simply can’t give him justice. Kudos to you, Sanders!

Jeremy Lowe on percussion and Andy Grobengieser on the keyboard blended seamlessly within the show. They deserve just as much praise as the cast. I particularly enjoyed Lowe’s percussion during the scene where the Mollusks attack.

The only thing I found disappointing was, well, the lack of flight. I mean, this is the prequel to Peter Pan, after all! I was hoping for a bit more aerodynamic action! There was a brief scene in which Molly levitates, but hardly anything that blew me away. While the lack of high-grade tech in the show usually gave it a more handmade, classic feel to it, there were times when I felt it wouldn’t hurt the show. In the end, the show does more than fine without it.

All in all, I really can’t describe how phenomenal this show was. I was delighted at every turn and it truly reminded me of the triumphs and pains of growing up. Peter and the Starcatcher is a show that all ages can appreciate and will guarantee a smile on your face. On a final note, I think it’s safe to say I’ve never seen a show as good as Peter. Go buy a ticket while you still can!