What’s that you’re saying? Oh, right: Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing “My heart bleeds for you.”
You’ve got a point. I shouldn’t complain about having an open weekend in New York (especially since my work-related Marriott points qualify me for very comfortable free lodging) — so I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you about what I saw:
Peter and the Starcatcher was at the top of my list of Shows I Want To See. It won a bunch of Tonys, got great critical reviews, and is scheduled to close later this month, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to see it. But I managed to snag a ticket for tonight’s performance (with arguably one of the best seats in the house) and had the time of my life.
The play is the origin story of Peter Pan — how he became the Boy Who Never Grew Up and how he got to Neverland. It’s a charming story and even more charmingly told. Honestly guys, I am an enormous sucker for simple theatre that feels like playing “make believe” more than “real life”. And this show had that magical quality in abundance. There were only minimal sets; everything was done by the actors, a few simple props (some rope, two toy boats, a pile of fur with a tail), and the audience’s imagination. (For those of you who know and love the work of Mary Zimmerman, I’d say this was very much in the same vein.)
The writing was enormously clever and funny, ranging seamlessly from the juvenile (flatulence!) to the sophisticated (Proust!), and the actors pulled it all off very well. Captain Hook (here called Captain “Black Stache”) was an outrageous show-stealer who managed to make the three words “Oh my gosh” feel like a complete song and dance number (I won’t say more for fear of spoilers — the show goes on tour soon!). Also, there’s an incredibly funny funny mermaid kick line.
For all the fun and games, there was also some surprising emotional depth, as well. The dueling concepts of wanting to be alone but have a family, to be a leader and grown-up without becoming the sort of adult who lets you down, to be strong without being cold, to be the best but liking the company of people who are better, to be yourself but also to change — all those things were there enough to move you and make you think in the downtime between the chuckles.
|Molly and the Boy first meet|