PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Joanna Howard as Molly and Josh Landay as her father, Lord Leonard Aster, as they prepare to set sail on the adventure of a lifetime. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Joanna Howard as Molly and Josh Landay as her father, Lord Leonard Aster, as they prepare to set sail on the adventure of a lifetime. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through April 4. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

“It’s supposed to hurt. That’s how you know it meant something.” -Molly Aster to Peter Pan

Did you ever wonder how Peter Pan came to live in Neverland? Or how Hook’s hand-losing encounter with a crocodile actually played out? These questions and more are answered in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, a bright and boisterous prequel to the story you already know.

Black Stache (Tom Story, second from right) threatens Fighting Prawn, the leader of the Mollusks (Arturo Soria, right) as Smee (José Restrepo, left), Mrs. Bumbrake (Andy Paterson, second from left) and Alf (Nick Vannoy, center) look on. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Black Stache (Tom Story, second from right) threatens Fighting Prawn, the leader of the Mollusks (Arturo Soria, right) as Smee (José Restrepo, left), Mrs. Bumbrake (Andy Paterson, second from left) and Alf (Nick Vannoy, center) look on. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The shows boasts a strong ensemble across the cast. Personal favorites include: Joanna Howard, who is perfect as precocious Molly Aster; Tom Story as the over-the-top scene-chewing villain Black Stache; and Jose Restrepo as his much put upon sidekick, Smee. I also enjoyed the comedic work of Andy Paterson as both Mrs. Bumbrake (smartly paired with Nick Vannoy as Alf) and the Teacher.

A 12-member cast invites you to discover the Neverland you never knew. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

A 12-member cast invites you to discover the Neverland you never knew. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The script itself was a mixed bag for me. I felt that the first act was a bit long and the story really didn’t gain much momentum until act two. There were comedic elements that I enjoyed, such as the use of alliteration, Black Stache’s ongoing malapropism and the word choice for the native tongue of the Mollusk Islanders. Conversely, the broad humor, groan-worthy puns, somewhat predictable choices of anachronisms and the plot stretches to explain elements of the Pan mythos left me…meh.

Black Stache (Tom Story, second from right, with Noah Zachary) strikes a threatening pose as Smee (José Restrepo, left), Mrs. Bumbrake (Andy Paterson, second from left) and Alf (Nick Vannoy, center) look on. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Black Stache (Tom Story, second from right, with Noah Zachary) strikes a threatening pose as Smee (José Restrepo, left), Mrs. Bumbrake (Andy Paterson, second from left) and Alf (Nick Vannoy, center) look on. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The show is creatively staged with lighting and set and prop pieces. The suspended stars was a great lighting element and I enjoyed how they were used throughout the production. The costumes, designed by David Kay Mickelsen, were also a highlight.

Overall the show is fun and entertaining, but I never felt emotionally connected to the story. That being said, the opening night audience responded more strongly to the work than I did. The show is definitely worth the trip for Peter Pan fans.

My rating: 4.0 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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