“Peter and the Starcatcher” Is a Galaxy of Stars at the Orpheum Theatre

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Peter and the Starcatcher was perfect. This show deservingly won five Tonys in 2012, and is now being shown for the first time ever, at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis through March 16th. The story of Peter and the Star Catcher is a prequel to Peter Pan, based on the beloved novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The book is amazing and definitely worth reading. The energy and humor of this script, plus the amazing actors, physical humor, and perfectly fitted set made for a show you can’t help but love instantly! 

The story follows Wendy’s mother Molly on her quest to become a full-fledged Starcatcher. While helping her father transport a trunk of “Star Stuff”, Molly (Megan Stern) meets some orphan boys on the ship {The NeverLand}. Peter Pan (Joey deBettencourt) and his cronies had an off type of humor. But after a second to catch on you’ll be laughing at their dry and boyish humor in no time. The story really picks up when the ship that Molly’s father is on gets invaded by pirates. 

All the acting in this show was amazing and the cast was a very tight ensemble, but there was one actor who stood out, John Sanders. Not only was his character (Black Stache) written perfectly, but his skill carried a show that didn’t even need to be carried. This script can’t be complimented enough! Jokes that lasted through the show weren’t over done, and the story’s drama wasn’t lost. There were also modern references plopped into the script, which added a twist to a 10 year old story. 

This entire show felt personal. With only 11 cast members, the ensemble went from being their individual characters to being part of the set, to being background characters, to being just nameless voices. In the powerful group numbers the only female Megan Stern was heard through all the other voices without being distracting. Everyone being part of the set, chorus and narration made the show feel less like “stuck up broadway” and more like almost a band of traveling Shakespeare players with resources of a “stuck up broadway show”. It was the perfect balance.  

The set was incredible and was used well. The same set was kept for the whole first act even though the story took place on two different ships. The set drastically changed for act two, providing a totally new landscape for the show. They brought in their own stage to put on top of the Orpheum’s. This allowed for lighting to come from under the stage. The effects were done in plain sight, often by the actors, yet they were still believable. For this show you have to be ready and willing to fly along with the show.

Their were two men providing the music from balconies at the sides of the stage. This worked well with the show and allowed for musical interaction. When the “Star Stuff” was used, little chimes were played. This show all connected.

Peter and the Starcatcher leaves nothing to complain about. You will laugh out loud and be carried away into the stars. There are touching lines pulled from the book, “It’s supposed to hurt, that’s how you know it meant something.” ~Molly. This show is touching and hilarious. Seeing it will be a night to remember.