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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 25, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 48
ArtsWest's Peter and the Starcatcher is a thrilling entertainment full of heartfelt joy and crazy fun
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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ArtsWest's Peter and the Starcatcher is a thrilling entertainment full of heartfelt joy and crazy fun

by Paul Torres - SGN A&E Writer

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
ARTSWEST
Through December 23


If you have a penchant for pirates with witty wordplay, then Peter and the Starcatcher at ArtsWest is for you. Eric Ankrim (Spring Awakening, Grease) directs this humorous, magical, and boisterous origin story of how Peter Pan learned his ways, received his name, and began his life as our favorite lost boy. Anyone who is a fan of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan story will be enthralled with this version. Rick Elice wrote the book based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Music is composed by Wayne Baker.

Peter and the Starcatcher is sheer entertainment to thrill an audience. This massive production fills the entirety of the ArtsWest stage with big-stage values: two ships, a raging sea, crocodiles, and even mermaids.

This story tells the tale of two travelling trunks on a voyage to Rundoon - one for the Queen and one decoy filled with sand. A devious villain named Slank, smartly played by Tyler Trerise (previously appearing at ArtsWest in My MaƱana Comes), chalk marks the Queen's trunk with an X, hence doing the old switcheroo, sending it on the clunker ship Neverland and the other trunk with sand on the speedy ship Wasp which is helmed by his old mate Captain Scott, an excellent Tyler Dobies.

Meanwhile evil Headmaster Grempkin, a delightful Nicholas Tarabini, sells three boys from his orphanage to Slank. These three boys - Ted, a wonderful John Han; Prentiss, delightfully acted by James Schilling; and an unnamed feisty boy portrayed by ArtsWest veteran and sure-bet Trent Moury (Dogfight at ArtsWest) soon meet precocious young Molly, a splendid Aly Gutierrez, who is in constant contact with her father, Lord Aster, the always fine Ryan McCabe (who gave a sparkling performance in Judy's Scary Little Christmas at ArtsWest) speaking 'dodo' with each other into glowing amulets across the seas. She discovers and befriends the lost orphan boys. She feeds them and, as they say, the adventure begins!

The ensemble cast is huge. Highlights include a hilarious Nathan Brockett as Mrs. Bumbrake (tee hee & bum-brake), a delightful Saxton Jay Walker as Blackstache, and witty Brian Lange as Smee. The balance of the cast is filled with funny high jinks performances that will even have you seeing double!

The exquisite scenic design by Julia Welch puts you in a fairy-tale state of mind. It's buoyed by the awesome work of costumes designed by Siri Nelson. Each intricate nuance of song, dance, set, and prop enhances the magical visual flavor of Peter and the Starcatcher.

Directing this big fantastical production is an admirable feat. Eric Ankrim always raises the bar (as he did with last season's ambitious American Idiot) and always produces pure excellence. In these post-election days, ArtsWest offers a great escape for all ages. Peter and the Starcatcher captures the imagination with heartfelt joy and crazy-fun. You leave half expecting to brush pixie dust off your shoulder.

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ArtsWest's Peter and the Starcatcher is a thrilling entertainment full of heartfelt joy and crazy fun
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SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

Super busy, Bernadette Peters
hits Benaroya Hall this weekend and chats about her new TV roles, Sondheim and more!

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