'Peter and the Starcatcher' features clever, humorous theatrics

2014-04-10T17:15:00Z 2014-04-10T19:24:16Z 'Peter and the Starcatcher' features clever, humorous theatricsEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Fans of the tale of Peter Pan will no doubt be curious about the production of "Peter and the Starcatcher" running through April 13 at Bank of America Theatre in Chicago.

The show, presented in the Windy City by Broadway in Chicago, carries the subtitle "A Grownup's Prequel to Peter Pan." In 2012, "Peter and the Starcatcher" won five Tony Awards and has also been honored with an Obie Award and Drama Desk Award, among others.

In this production, audience members are introduced to the classic characters before they become the iconic familiar personalities. We learn how Peter, known as Boy in this rendition, becomes the legendary Peter Pan as well as being introduced to the makings of other characters such as Tinkerbell, Wendy, Hook and the Lost Boys.

"Peter and the Starcatcher" is filled with an assortment of humorous situations, witty dialogue, plays on words, rope tricks and fascinating theatrics. Written by Rick Elice and directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, "Peter" easily grabs an audience's attention with its clever use of props, catchy dialog and creative staging.

While the first act proves a bit slow, the second half of the show speeds along with one interesting scene after another. The set is also more colorful in the second act.

Joey deBettencourt as Boy (Peter) offers an energetic performance as the boy who'll never grow up while Megan Stern as Molly, whose character is a little spitfire, interacts well with deBettencourt and the rest of the male cast.

The major highlight by far proved to be the moment when John Sanders, in the role of Black Stache, (the would-be Capt. Hook) realizes he's just lost his hand. His 5-minute utterance (yes, 5 minutes) of the phrase "Oh my God" was one of the most humorous scenes I've seen on a stage. He sings, cries, laughs, screams and speaks the phrase in various ways, using numerous vocal sounds, soft and loud levels, singing versus speaking, and also different languages. "Ay Dios mio," he even cries at one point. That scene alone is worth the price of a ticket.

FYI:"Peter and the Starcatcher" runs through April 13 at Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe, Chicago. Tickets are $18 to $85. For tickets and more information, call (800) 775-2000 or visit ticketmaster.com or BroadwayInChicago.com

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