Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #439 - Peter and the Starcatcher, my review

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #439 - Peter and the Starcatcher, my review

Hi Mom, I know you love reading my reviews. Here you go. This show was very excellent, and I hope some more people get out to see it.

"Peter and the Starcatcher”
a production of What A Do Theatre
Attended Date: September 16, 2016
reviewed by Christopher Tower

What A Do (WAD) theater celebrates the opening of its seventh season with what it does best: producing the best in new and cutting-edge theatre in the modern vein. Friday night WAD opened “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a play barely as old as the theatre itself as it first debuted in 2009.
With this production, What A Do continues its run of powerful theatricals with high production values and talented ensemble casts that has cemented its reputation as a professional company and helped to win the theater a Wilde Award for February’s “Streetcar Named Desire.”
Based on a 2006 novel by Dave Barry (yes, the humorist) and Ridley Pearson, “Peter and The Starcatcher” was adapted for the stage by Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys,” “Addams Family”). First performed in California before traveling to Broadway in 2012, the show enjoyed a nice in run in several New York theaters through 2014 before rights become available across the country.
“Peter and The Starcatcher” is the origin story for Peter Pan, explaining how Peter obtained the power of flight and how Captain Hook, his alligator nemesis, and Tinkerbell all came to be in the place known as Neverland.
Though the performances are superb and the script funny and emotionally moving, it’s the staging and production values that make “Peter and the Starcatcher” truly arresting and inspiring theater. Performers play multiple roles and often stand in as set pieces on a stage that features ropes, mastheads, two crates, model ships, and little else. The performers do magical and exciting things with simple props, creating joyous, galvanic theatre that inspired Ben Brantley to write in “The New York Times” that the shipwreck of the Neverland is “the most enthralling shipwreck since James Cameron sent the Titanic to her watery grave in the late 1990s.”
Under the ingenious orchestration of director Randy Wolfe, performers scurry about, jump, hop, tumble, crawl, create doors with rope, pantomime alligators, simulate a massive shipwreck, and so much more in a dazzling display of physical performance with limited set pieces.
Like a Greek chorus, performers provide necessary exposition in a breathless flurry throughout the show. But viewers should pick up the premise quickly enough. Molly (Teri Noaeill-Christ) -- who will later become the mother of Wendy in “Peter Pan” –  journeys with her father Lord Aster (Franklin Chenman) to dispose of a crate of dangerous “star stuff” and earn her standing as a full-fledged “starcatcher.”
There are two ships: the Neverland, where Aster has stowed Molly to protect her from the dangers of the mission, and the Wasp, bound for Rundoon with the crate of “treasure,” the magical star stuff. But when Black Stache (Joe Dely) and his pirate minions – Smee (Nicholas Mumma) among others – seize the ship, they learn that the star stuff has been stolen by the Neverland’s Captain Slank (Rachel Markillie). A chase ensues that results in the wreck of the Neverland, beaching everyone involved on a jungle island protected by a giant alligator and a band of savages led by Fighting Prawn (Stacy Little-Vest).
Molly must avoid pirates, give the savages the slip, and recover the crate of star stuff to complete her mission. She is aided by orphan boys, Prentiss (Nicholas Wheeler), Ted (Christian Perez), and Boy (Emory Eddy), who earns the name Peter Pan during the events that take place on the island, events that involve mermaids and a magical fish, Teacher (James King).
Rounding out this superb ensemble cast are Lars J. Loofboro in the role of Mrs. Bumbrake – Molly’s nanny – and Scott T. Whitesell as Captain Scott.
Joe Dely continues to demonstrate why he’s the star stuff in WAD’s treasure chest with his slapstick, screeching, and hilarious performance as Black Stache. Dely proves with every role he takes on that his range has no bounds. He can assume new personas so different in style and execution from his other roles that one might swear that they are not performed by the same person, which, of course, is the hallmark of great acting.
Teri Noaeill Christ, who also serves as assistant director, once again turns out a solid performance, top to bottom, and proves to be very convincing as a young girl. Her bright eyed enthusiasm and yet indomitable spirit provide the glue that holds the entire show together.
In his first time at the What A Do Theatre, Emory Eddy plays the role of Boy, who becomes Peter Pan. He blossoms well as he is filled with star stuff and transformed. He hits all the right notes of both petulance and boyish wonder.
The rest of the ensemble is amazing both as a unit and individually. Nicholas Mumma has priceless humor work as Smee, Markillie is twisted and swarthy in all the roles she plays, and Little is most impressive as chieftain Fighting Prawn, whose language consists of the names of pasta.
But the WAD would have no success at all if not for a stellar technical crew and a staff of amazing designers, including choreography by Courtney Johnson, production management by Nancy King, and scenic designs by Samantha Snow among the contributions of a small army of other talented people.
Expressionistic in its choreography and bursting with energy and excitement, all fans of theater should make a point to visit What A Do for this innovative, artful, and brilliant production of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” It’s likely going to win the theater next year’s Wilde award.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 441 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1609.18 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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