These are but some of the things covered in NKU’s frolicsome and wonderfully inventive production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Using beloved characters from the world of Peter Pan, this adaptation of the Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson novel shows how Peter Pan and Captain Hook came to be.
This NKU production is muscular, vibrant, and wonderfully childlike as the huge cast takes us from the shores of English to the island which ends up becoming Neverland. Director Corrie Danieley uses her cast as both characters in the show and as wonderfully inventive stage background pieces. In one scene, Molly (Hannah Beaven) explores the bowels of a ship while the cast becomes the hallway and doors which Molly uses to peer inside the individual cabins.
Danieley channels the vibrancy of her cast to great effect in this show. The end result is a delightfully inventive production that brings out the inner child in the audience. This inventiveness even happens with the costuming. Costume Designer Ronnie Chamberlain did an outstanding job with the costumes for the musical number which kicks off the second act. There are actors dressed in sea-inspired outfits. I loved the twirling star fish on one of the costumes. Truly wonderful.
The principal players are strong. Hannah Beavon, who plays Molly Aster, is a standout. She carries the show and she does so with a strong nuanced performance that also has touches of humor. She does a great job speaking Dodo and mock Norwegian; I would laugh anytime she would whoop and squawk in either one of those languages. Beaven is also a strong vocalist singing beautifully with the several songs placed throughout the play.
Chandler Murray is a strong Peter Pan. Murray’s character develops throughout the entire play. From the first time we see him, he is beaten down by life. By the end of the play, Murray is fighting The Black Stache (Barrett Minks) with relish and verve. He sells the idea that this boy would distrust adults and want to be a boy “for a little while.”
Also strong is Barrett Minks, who plays the pirate captain The Black Stache. The Black Stache is larger than life and Minks plays his role to the hilt. He is delightfully wonderful prancing around stage thinking he is the most villainous and wonderful person on the planet. Minks is also a strong singer.
This reviewer has seen Peter in the Starcatcher performed before, but I have never seen it performed with such verve and life and inventiveness. This is a must-see production for this holiday season. Children will love it because of all of the imaginative elements and the adults will love it because of all of the throwaway jokes put into the script. There were so many jokes packed into the script that I would love to see this show again to catch more of them.
This is the perfect holiday production that will appeal to all family members. There is something for everyone here. I highly recommend this production. It is great fun and will bring out your inner child who wants to fly off with Peter Pan in search of adventure.