NKU’s “Peter and the Starcatcher” is a Star-Packed, Whimsical Delight
Posted On December 3, 2022
Review by Molly Alderson
Friday night marked the opening of Rick Elice’s hilarious Peter and the Starcatcher at the NKU Corbett Theatre. Directed by Corrie Danieley, the cast is packed with rising stars who are sure to have promising careers in the theater.
Based on the children’s book, the play–featuring all of the beloved Pan characters like Peter, Smee, the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell, and even ole’ Captain Hook–is sprinkled with thoughtful and powerful musical numbers that both surprise and delight.
Serving as a prequel to Peter and Wendy, Peter and the Starcatcher provides the backstory to many of the unanswered questions about Peter and his adventures in Neverland. Questions that likely never entered your mind as a starry-eyed child but now fill your brain with skepticism like “how does Peter fly” and “why on earth does the crocodile tick”. The show provides thoughtful and whimsical solutions to your adult-ridden questions in the most playful and cheeky way.
The theme of growing up, but not forgetting your inner child, is woven into the play. Like the carefully crafted and outstandingly delivered rapid-fire British-humor dialog from The Black Stash (played by Barrett Minks) to the flatulating and fumbling Smee (played by Austin Fidler). The cast reels you in, as if delivering their lines in iambic pentameter, and then hits you with bathroom humor or below-the-sword pirate jokes. It’s a lovely reminder of the unnecessary seriousness of adulthood and your ability to find that lost little boy or girl inside of you, looking for adventure.
Performers adapt to their roles (and accents) swimmingly and each one delivers an exceptional performance. Specifically, the show’s dynamic spotlights are the courageous and young-feminist Molly Aster (played by Hannah Beaven) and the shy and loyal Peter (Chandler Murray). Their ability to see their role through a child’s eyes is remarkable. The unlikely duo Mrs. Bumbrake (Chloe Hedrick) and Alf (Chris Monell) will have you in tears and cheering for their star-crossed romance. And, of course, our villain and his henchmen, The Black Stash and Smee, whose love-to-hate, hate-to-love relationship is one for the (s)ages.
While the set is practically constructed in Act I it really comes to life in Act II when it is transformed into Mollusque Island. Scenic Designer (Toa Wang) and Props Designer (Kristen Craven) should be celebrated for their work alongside Choreographer (Christopher Ryan) who (for a play that is not a musical) delivered some musical-worthy moves) and Costume Designer (Ronnie Chamberlain) whose thoughtful and silly costumes helped the characters shine.
NKU’s Peter and the Starcatcher is a surprisingly odd and wickedly funny show that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Check it out this season at NKUs Corbett Theatre now through December 11th, you and your inner child (our actual child) will be happy you did.
And as the cast would say, TTFN.
Molly Alderson is an advertising professional. She is a Wittenberg University alum, where she attended on a theatre scholarship. Since graduating, Molly has performed in both theatre, dance and improv groups across the country. She loves attending live performances and hopes her passion for writing will inspire others to get back to the theatre, as well.