The Ultimate Word

"The ultimate Word is not a paragraph but a person. If Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, then the heart of proclamation is personal and relational, not propositional."

Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki * God, Christ, Church, page 135

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

FCS: Peter and the Starcatcher


Quick facts:
  • Show: Peter and the Starcatcher
  • Broadway
  • Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
  • Time: 2:00 p.m.
  • Closing date: open-ended
  • Venue: Brooks Atkinson Theatre
  • Running time: 2:15 (one intermission)
  • My seat: Fair.  I was in the Orchestra, stage left, row M
  • Ticket source: TDF
  • Understudies: none
Know someone working the show? No.

Synopsis: A prequel to the tale of Peter Pan, the founding of Neverland, and the origins of the characters.

My thoughts: I was initially curious (maybe slightly concerned) about what was meant when this play was described as a "play with music".  As I've mentioned before - I really do love my musicals...  I love singing and dancing.  So I was apprehensive about how this would figure in to my preferences.

I LOVED IT!  Peter and the Starcatcher is a delightful play - with just a few simple musical numbers, and an incredibly simple "orchestra" (only piano and percussion).  The production is earthy and organic - real, old-time theater - relying nearly exclusively on the talents of the performers and the quality of the script - both of which were up to the task.  For me, it served as an effective and helpful antidote to the overly-stimulating, tech-heavy production of last night at Ghost.

The script, by Rick Elice (based on the book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson) is truly remarkable.  It's fast and clever.  Moreover, it's funny!  Comedy that actually worked for me!  I'm not usually a "laugh out loud" kind of audience member, but I was today.

The sets, designed by Donyale Werle, nurtured the organic feel of the production.  While I preferred the aesthetics of the Act I set, the second act created some beautiful opportunities for the incredibly effective lighting designs of Jeff Croiter to shoulder some of the story telling.

The cast was superb under the leadership of Christian Borle (in the role of Black Stache, and of NBC's Smash fame), Celia Keenan-Bolger (in the role of Molly), and Adam Chanler-Berat (in the role of Boy).  I was also particularly impressed with the down-page talents of Arnie Burton (in the role of Mrs. Bumbrake) and Greg Hildreth (in the role of Alf).

It's a fast-paced and high energy performance.  An absolute delight!  Much credit goes to directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, and particularly to movement director Steven Hoggett for their consistency of design.  It was easy to be swept into the world of Peter and the Starcatcher - and great fun to boot!  All of the elements of the production pulled together in a very satisfying balance to create an unforgettable event.

Closing arguments:
  • Would I see it again? Sure!
  • Would I recommend it to others? If so, who? I absolutely recommend this show to you!  It's fun and fresh and light.  My mother will be coming to visit this summer, and this is sure to be on the must-see list I pull together for her.
  • Twitter review: Sometimes theater is just fun.  This is one of those times.

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