"Peter and the Starcatcher" couldn't have arrived at a better time. This wondrous, imaginative and highly entertaining show which opened at The Bank of America Theatre last night, is a sure cure for the winter blues. Based on the 2006 novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, it tells how Peter Pan became the boy who refused to grow up. There's a cast of 12, who play more parts than I could count in what has to be one of the most madcap two hours ever attempted on a single stage. They look as if they are having the time of their lives, and the audience responds in kind.
The story starts with a secret mission for the Queen, involving two steamer trunks, one filled with "star stuff" and the other a decoy. There are two ships, a band of pirates, a treacherous Sea Captain, an ocean voyage and a ship wreck. Pop culture references abound as well as campy and corny moments that bring groans of pure pleasure from the audience. This show will have you hooked (pardon the pun) from the opening moments to the deeply touching finale.
In musical theatre they have what is known as the "11 o'clock number", a show stopping song that occurs late in the second act. In "Peter and the Starcatcher" they have an "11 o'clock scene" that could be called the "Oh, My God" number performed by John Sanders that is one of the truly memorable moments I've ever seen on a Chicago stage. It's worth the price of your ticket just to find out how the Captain got his hook.
"Peter and the Star Catcher" will play at the Bank of America Theatre through Sunday's matinee performance on April 13th. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time and the kids will, too.
Filed under: Theatre Reviews