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REVIEW: Sweeping Peter and the Starcatcher (Latté Da)

Tyler Michaels as Peter in Theater Latté Da’s Peter and the Starcatcher. Photo by Dan Norman.

Black Stache (Pearce Bunting) hooks Peter (Tyler Michaels) into a sticky situation. Photo by Dan Norman.

There’s a lot of great stuff going on in Theater Latté Da’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Where to begin?

This show has visual humor galore, old-fashioned stage effects that impress you with their subtlety, a script that sparkles with wordplay like they just don’t write anymore, and more. There’s a stellar Megan Burns as Molly (the female lead as well as the only woman in the cast), a dazzling Tyler Michaels as Peter (in light of his turn as Peter Pan in CTC’s musical of the same name, one can really say that he looks the part), a lot of fun hamming by Craig Johnson (most notably as Mrs. Bumbrake, the children in the audience’s clear favorite). There’s even some good old-fashioned scene-chewing villainy by Ricardo Beaird as Prentiss, topped in the second half by Pearce Bunting’s scene-stealing Black Stache.

Peter and the Starcatcher has a lot of threads from the British theatre tradition that have been pulled out and discarded from American theatre’s normal weave. Perhaps this is why so many of the audience members remarked about how fresh it felt – it has traces of panto, semi-diagetical theatre worksongs, and other things that we don’t see a lot on this side of the pond. That it’s delivered up-close and personally in the Ritz Theater was also remarked upon by the opening night audience, many of whom compared it favorably with the Broadway tour of 3 years’ past.

Let’s not spoil the story on this one. If you go to see Peter and the Starcatcher, you’ll see a sort of prequel to the classic Peter Pan story, told in an engaging and dynamic fashion. It’s visually interesting, in no small part due to Sonya Berlovitz’s costumes and entertaining succession of props by Abbee Warmboe, and runs with a current of pleasant intensity throughout. Good for the young and extra-entertaining for the older.

Peter and the Starcatcher plays through Feb. 26 at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis.

 

Molly (Megan Burns) demonstrates the effects of star stuff out. Photo by Dan Norman.
Basil Considine
Basil Considine is the Twin Cities Arts Reader's Performing Arts Editor and the Senior Classical Music and Drama Critic. Before joining the Arts Reader, he was the Twin Cities Daily Planet's Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic and a contributing writer for The Boston Music Intelligencer. He holds a PhD in Music and Drama from Boston University, an MTS in Sacred Music from the BU School of Theology, and a BA in Music and Theatre from the University of San Diego.
http://basilconsidine.org
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