REVIEW: Peter and the Starcatcher

photo by Jenny Anderson

photo by Jenny Anderson

Peter and the Starcatcher tells the untold story about how Peter Pan and the Lost Boys came to Neverland. This new play is about the adventures of a noble English lord and his brash daughter on a secret mission to an island in the south Pacific for Queen Victoria.  Along the way, they encounter a crew of seafaring ne’erdowells, a band of nefarious pirates and a trio of hapless orphans as they travel over the high seas.  The plot is a mixture of adventure, romance, intrigue and sentimentality, peppered with jokes and winking asides to the audience.  Some of the jokes are a bit corny and aimed at younger audiences, while others are clever cultural references that hit the mark with the grown-ups as well.  I would have been happy with about three fewer fart jokes but I digress… The scenery is fairly static, changing over at the intermission, but brought to life with the clever use of props, sound effects, lighting cues, choreography and imagination.  Admittedly, the play starts off a little slowly, with characters who appear to be one-dimensional stereotypes of various literary tropes, but they quickly grow into unique individuals with complex motivations and desires (well, most of them do, anyway).  The acting is generally spirited and enthusiastic, but the most enthralling performance was delivered by the key villain, Black Stache, played by John Sanders.  Sanders shows great comic timing and energy, particularly in the second act.  No spoilers here, but you definitely need to stay to the end!  In all, this was a delightful show for kids and grown-ups alike!

Peter and the Starcatcher plays at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis through March 16, 2014.

Tickets start at $44.

DEAL ALERT: Student/Educator Rush will be available for all performances of Mamma Mia!. Policy: 2 tickets per valid ID; $25 per ticket, cash only; available only at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office beginning 2 hours prior to the performance; rush line forms outside of theatre; student/educator must be present with valid ID at time of purchase; resale or transfer of rush tickets is strictly prohibited and all tickets are subject to availability.