Peter and the Starcatcher

By Rick Elice

A secret mission with precious cargo aboard The Neverland brings spirited Molly to help boys escape slavery and foil the pirates seeking the magical starstuff. A new play with music written by Rick Elice, based on the best-selling book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and conceived for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers.  See PATSC Wiki link

Available for licensing through Music Theatre International.

Reviews

Hollywood Reporter, Rooney
But it’s in the simple flourishes – conjuring a wild storm at sea with little more than a length of rope, or a giant crocodile with a pair of red headlights and strings of white flags for teeth – that   the show taps into a magical tradition of children’s theater. In an era of mainstream family entertainment in which audience imagination is too rarely a requirement, it’s a breath of salty sea air.”

The New York Times, Ben Brantley
“’Peter and the Starcatcher,’ the blissful exercise in make-believe… sustains a breathless air of adventure and a cocky confidence in its powers to enchant that elude most family oriented spectacles now on Broadway… With grown-up theatrical savvy and a child’s wonder at what it can achieve, ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ floats right through the ceiling of the physical limits imposed by a three-dimensional stage. While there’s not a body harness in sight, like those used to hoist the title characters of ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Spider-Man,’ this show never stops flying.”

Analysis:

Dramaturgy: Great Team

  • Roger Rees – Nicholas Nickleby, Indiscretions, Uncle Vanya (Roundabout)
  • Alex Timbers – Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Gutenberg! The Musical!
  • Rick Elice – Jersey Boys
  • Dynamic ensemble: 12 actors, 2 musicians, 4 swings
  • Developed by Disney with Disney Theatricals participation on Broadway

Story Elements: Universal Appeal

  • Story of the origin of Peter Pan, the Lost Boys & the young woman who saved them
  • New, fresh take on tale of eternal youth – the Neverland you never knew

Cost: Simple Production, Huge Value

  • British music-hall, pantomime style – inspired by Nicholas Nickleby
  • Unit set, simple costumes – actors creating the world of adventure with pirates, ocean-going ships, jungles
  • Reasonable budget for Broadway – est. payback in 24 weeks at 65% capacity

Marketing: Audience Tested

  • La Jolla – four week workshop run 2009
  • New York Theater Workshop – spring 2011 sold out, extended run