Peter and the Starcatcher

Winner of 5 Tony Awards, Peter and the Starcatcher opened to critical acclaim and wildly enthusiastic audience response on Broadway in the spring of 2012.  Radio Mouse Entertainment also co-produced the successful U.S. tour during the 2013-14 season, which brought the play’s magic, merriment, and mayhem to delighted audiences of all ages across the country, playing engagements in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Charlotte, NC.

Based on a best-selling book, Peter and the Starcatcher tells the imaginative story of how a nameless boy became Peter Pan, and how the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, and the ticking crocodile all came to be. Written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) and co-directed by Roger Rees (Nicholas Nickleby) and Alex Timbers (The Pee-wee Herman Show), the play was commissioned by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Peter and the Starcatcher got rave reviews from critics, including Ben Brantley of The New York Times, who called it “the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades” and “a blissful exercise in make-believe”. Entertainment Weekly said it was “an absurdly funny fantastical journey”, and Time Out NY wrote “this show soars deliriously high and gloriously far”.

Reviews from the Broadway production:

Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Staged with unending inventiveness by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers…None of [it] could be achieved if the actors didn’t have a level of synchronicity and reciprocal trust that you associate with master ballet troupes…It’s the most exhilarating example of locomotive storytelling on Broadway since the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby visited three decades ago. (Read Full Review)

Jesse Oxfeld, New York Observer

Seriously silly…What makes the directors’ winking, imaginative staging truly take flight—Wendy, Michael, John, Tinkerbell, come on!—is the big, gleeful performances from their impressively talented cast…Each performance, not just Mr. Borle’s, is its own goofy masterpiece…[An] imaginative, hilarious, totally endearing good time. (Read Full Review)

David Sheward, Backstage

Has [this] dazzlingly fun riff on the Peter Pan legend that lit up the intimate New York Theatre Workshop last season…lost any of its luster in a trip to the Never Never Land of Broadway?…I’m happy to report that Peter has not given up a speck of its fairy dust–infused whimsy. This is a celebration of youth and of the power of theater to inspire children and adults alike…In one of the most hysterical over-the-top performances New York has seen in years, Borle channels Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, and Cyril Ritchard’s Captain Hook, yet he gives this foppish cutthroat his own stamp. (Read Full Review)

Aaron Riccio, That Sounds Cool

A whimsical riot of a show, never a dull moment about, and the high energy and inventive staging from Roger Rees and Alex Timbers reminds one of Jolly-Ship the Whiz Bang, only without the puppets…Yet, for all this, everything comes back to that super-nova of a performance being given by Mr. Borle…Peter Pan brags that he’ll never grow up; with theater as good as this, audiences will never have to. (Read Full Review)

Michael Dale, Broadwayworld

Raucously funny and surprisingly tender…An excellent piece of family entertainment. The youngsters will enjoy the physical comedy and there’s a strong central female character. And there’s verbal wit a-plenty for the adults. (Read Full Review)

Liesl Schillinger, Vogue

Dotty, dastardly, and immensely entertaining…Peter and the Starcatcher occupies fresh, fertile entertainment terrain, a hybrid blend of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, a Monty Python skit, and a Saturday morning cartoon. There’s enough cross-dressing, punmanship, and vertiginous invention to make Lewis Carroll look like a drudge in comparison. (Read Full Review)

Justin Davidson, New York

Peter and the Starcatcher is a tiny show, but spectacle, wit, and joy spill out of it like treasure from a magic pocket. A cast of twelve, a couple of trunks, and a versatile length of rope yield more storytelling than most oversize spectaculars can manage….The script skirts cutesiness, and Peter could easily have slipped over the border from sublime silliness to just plain dumb…Yet the directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and the entire cast have such exuberant belief in this material that they (magically?) turn it into a miniature classic. (Read Full Review)

Roma Torre, NY1

Translating [the book’s] 450 pages to the stage is quite a tall order, though, for any age, given its complement of sea-faring pirates, mermaids, monsters and magical effects. But I’m very pleased to report, thanks to theatrical magic, the story of Peter’s move to Broadway ends very happily ever after. Starting with Rick Elice’s richly imaginative adaptation, directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers’ fast-paced staging is delightfully low-tech, relying on improvisational techniques and crude props. (Read Full Review)

Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News

Beaming with dizzy humor and delightful stage magic…a big dipperful of fun…Some jokes strain and the story still stalls a bit midway through the second half. But improvements have been made since Off-Broadway. A better soundscape lets the mix of sea chanteys and chorales ring clearer. And the 12 actors, who all play more than one part and most of whom are reprising roles, are sharper than ever. (Read Full Review)

David Cote, Time Out New York

An epic, larky picaresque that crams in pirates, aristocrats, orphans, mermaids and a giant crocodile…While the [Broadway] production is bigger and shinier, beneath the dazzling, tricked-out proscenium beats the exhilarated heart of a kid who wants to fly. And you can be sure: Peter soars—deliriously high and gloriously far. Despite a confusingly hectic prologue and some overindulgence in tween-oriented twee and campy excess for parents, the show is an astonishing inventory of stage trickery and verbal pyrotechnics. (Read Full Review)

Andy Propst, TheaterMania

Even as theatergoers enjoy the production’s many fancies, they must also endure the ungainly collision of innocent whimsy, hip sarcasm, and sophomoric humor that pervades the evening, causing hairprin shifts in tone…The show’s scene stealer remains Christian Borle, playing Black Stache, the pirate who will become Captain Hook. Looking and acting a bit like a foppish villain from a 19th-century melodrama who’s been crossed with Charlie Chaplin, Borle continues to attack the role with comedic abandon, although he has modulated his turn gently, so that it often seems funnier than it did originally. (Read Full Review)

Howard Shapiro, Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s a little like Monty Python in its wit and silliness, a little like Wicked in that it fabricates a backstory for an iconic one, and a lot like a piece of children’s theater that went wildly awry. It’s also big fun, if you give it the chance…Its percussion and keyboard backup, played by musicians in the balcony boxes, is too heavily amplified and drowns out too much of the key words and jokes in Rick Elice’s fantastical and often enchanting script. Its direction by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers is filled with rich shtik, but also allows British accents of extreme degrees, from very little to hard-to-comprehend. (Read Full Review)

Gil Varod, Broadway Abridged

In the hands of directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher harbors a wonderful theatricality and imagination in the way people fly, crawl through pirate ships, and encounter giant crocodiles. The show is very funny–particularly anytime Borle is onstage–and the pace is fast and furious with throwaway lines that whizz right by you, almost as if the entire story is being improvised by a troupe that has been working together for years. The downside in this bigger venue is that with such a breakneck pace, the audience is too busy laughing at the previous sightgag to catch the next joke or important narrative plotpoint. (Read Full Review)

Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

Briskly and inventively directed by Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Roger Rees…The play blends an old-fashioned music-hall sensibility straight from the 1885 date line with an avalanche of jokes. Borle chomps what little scenery there is with contagious delight. Swishing and jumping about, winking at himself and the audience, his vaudevillian pirate is a shameless masterpiece. Is it so wrong to pine for the bad guy? (Read Full Review)

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