Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review of Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to show and it was called Peter and the Starcatcher. It was written by Rick Elice and directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers. It was about a girl named Molly (Megan Stern) who meets a boy named Peter (Joey deBettencourt). He doesn't have a name when she meets him. It was kind of like a backstory of Peter Pan. You also learn about how Captain Hook became Captain Hook and now the original Peter Pan makes perfect sense, like how Wendy's mother knows about Peter Pan. When I went to this show, I think I had the hardest laugh I've had in about 7 years. This show was funny, suspenseful, and the story I thought was very good because it was complex but a child could still understand it. Each performer had more than one character and I thought they did a good job at acting like those characters. I also really liked how they used their bodies to represent doors or ships or crocodiles, stuff like that. I think that this show was awesome, and I was still laughing even on the way home.

Molly was my favorite character. She was like an awesomer Wendy because Wendy is kind of obsessed with being like "I'm the mother" and Molly was obsessed with being the leader. I thought that was cooler because that is not usually what girls in stories are obsessed about. I also liked how she reacted to when the boys were like, "Only boys can be the leader." Her reaction was like, "No! Girls can be the leader" and they were kind of scared of her. And I was like, "Yeah!" I thought that she did a very good job seeming like she was thirteen. I liked how in the shipwreck she was like, "Er. This training bra is so itchy." I liked Molly's dad Lord Aster (Nathan Hosner). I thought that he seemed like a real dad who was like, "O my gosh. My kid is growing up." I liked how they spoke Dodo together and when Molly was translating Norse code she went into this giant squawking thing which translated into "Love, Daddy." I thought that that was really really funny. It made me laugh really loud.

I really liked the character Mrs. Bumbrake (Benjamin Schrader). I liked how she was played by a boy. I thought that that was pretty cool. She reminded me of Nana the dog because she was protective but she still loved them. I loved it when they were in the squished cabin and Mrs. Bumbrake and Alf (Harter Clingman) started singing this love song. Then the ship rocked back and forth and they were both screaming. That I thought was very funny. I thought it was really funny when they got on a raft and used Mrs. Bumbrake's bloomers for a sail.

I really liked the three boys. One of them was Peter. One of them was Ted (Edward Tournier). And one of them was Prentiss (Carl Howell). I thought that all the boys had something likable about them. I really liked how Ted was food-obsessed. I also really liked how when he saw the pineapple each morning he would bite into it and go, "owwww." I like how Prentiss was also obsessed with being a leader so he and Molly were like friends but also like enemies. I liked how, when Peter first had a crush on Molly, he was shy because you wouldn't think Peter Pan would ever be shy. Molly is an adventurous, heroic swimmer. He likes tough, I'm-feminist girls, so it makes you like him more. It shows you that Peter changes over time. He is a jerk later in the other Peter Pan story, but he is nicer before he becomes a kid forever.

Captain Stache (John Sanders) was basically like the young Captain Hook. His goal was to steal the Queen's trunk, but he is satisfied at the end because now he has a hero. He wants to be the worst villain so he needs someone to be the best hero. He is called Captain Stache because he has basically a Groucho Marx mustache. He kind of did remind me of Groucho Marx, only he was evil. He is kind of like a valley girl all the time because he liked to look gorgeous and he liked to get all the attention. He didn't like the crocodile because everyone was like, "Woah, look at the giant crocodile" and not, "Whoa, look at that awesome stache." I also thought that is was really funny when the crocodile came on and Smee (Luke Smith) said "He's chewing up the scenery" and Captain Stache was like, "Not in my scene!" (This is a case where I did like them talking about how they were actually in a play.) Smee was actually smarter than him and he liked to seem like the smartest, so he would just look over at Smee and say, in a very don't-interrupt-me-I'm-cooler-than-you way, "Thaaaank yoooou, Smeeeee." My favorite part in the entire play was when Captain Stache chopped his hand off with the chest and just said this over and over again for about 60 seconds, or longer: "O my god o my god o my god." And then he started doing things while he said "O my god o my god o my god." Like he played an invisible cups game and he poured himself some coffee and he drank it. And then he did many other things and then he fainted. My chest ached after the show because I had laughed so hard.

This was different from other big shows because it wasn't like bling! whoa! I think this could have been on a smaller stage, but I still liked how it was. I wanted to feel even closer to those characters. I wanted to feel like I was on the stage with them because it was just that kind of show. It just felt like everyone should be closer because then you would be able to just experience it more. Whenever you are at this theatre the stage is up and you are down or very much up above. You just see the back of the heads of the other spectators. But when you are in a smaller theater that goes more around, you feel more like you are part of this experience and the other audience members are sharing this experience with you. Here you feel like one among millions. That still didn't ruin it, but I still would have liked it better if you had gotten to feel more of the experience like I did at The Hypocrite's Mikado or at The House Theater's Nutcracker.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome feminist girls, bloomer sails, and valley-girl pirates. People should definitely go see this show because you get to learn about how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. I really loved this show, and whenever I think of "o my god o my god o my god" I start laughing.

Photos: Jenny Anderson

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