'Peter and the Starcatcher' at The Vex
Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan became “the boy who refused to grow up”, or what caused Captain Hook to have such vengeance for his nemesis? Peter and the Starcatcher, a play by Rick Elice with music (it’s not a musical) by Wayne Barker, which opens at The Vex May 4, answers all of this and more.
Elice’s exhilarating play is based on the novel of the same name (ish) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (ish because the novel is titled Peter and the Starcatchers). Also, while the play is targeted to a more adult audience, the novel is written for a young reader. Because he did not have experience writing children’s theatre, when Elice decided he wanted to make the book into a play, he spoke to Barry and Ridley, asking permission to instead “write the play with an adult sensibility for an adult audience”.
Hailed as a grownup’s prequel to Peter Pan, The Vex’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher is recommended for adults. Vex Artistic Director Ken Frazier explains “I think it is important for audiences to know that this amazing show is designed for imaginative adults, not necessarily kids. It is indeed a prequel that tells us how Peter Pan learned to fly and an eccentric pirate became Captain Hook, but it is also a pageant of linguistic twists, ingenious plot turns, and cultural allusions that will fly (pun intended) over children’s heads.”
Frazier recommends parents who are considering bringing their children to the show do a little internet research to make sure it’s right for their kids. “While younger children will simply be baffled, confused, and possibly bored, middle schoolers with a good grasp on literature may see the connection to the original iconic characters and follow the uniqueness of the production style.” He adds “One thing is for sure, adults will have a blast!”
In an interview with Broadway.com, Rick Elice talked about the creative process and the story itself. “I wanted to try to merge the contemporary, irreverent tone of Dave and Ridley’s novel with the style employed by J.M. Barrie a hundred years earlier for the original Peter Pan. Barrie used high comedy and low, alliteration, puns, broad physical gags, songs, even meta-theatrical anachronisms, to reel in his 1904 audience. Then, he’d deliver sentiment so deftly that the end of the play breaks your heart. My challenge would be to write this new play in such a way that it merged the two disparate styles, but also connected the dots between the now-mythic characters and plot points of the original with Dave and Ridley’s reboot.”
The show runs May 4 – June 4 with performances Thursdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm. There will not be a performance Thurs., June 1.
Tickets, ranging in price from $22-16, may be purchased by calling The Vex Box Office at 302-6835 beginning April 4. Season subscribers can take advantage of Early Option Reservations and reserve their seats today.
Find out more about the show online!