Review: The Magic of Peter and the Starcatcher

Cast members create the illusion of water that Peter is thrown into as Molly swims out to rescue him (Photo by Bella Bakeman).

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a prequel to the beloved Neverland tales. The play explores the wondrous nature of Peter before he became Peter Pan. It explains the backstory of his counterpart Captain Hook, or as he is more affectionately known, Black Stache. The show also introduces us to Molly, a brilliant young girl, who happens to be the beloved Wendy’s great-grandmother.

Quincy McCabe, Lansing senior, who played Peter, said the show was fun to participate in. 

“It’s the most elaborate we’ve done since I’ve been here,” McCabe said. He said his cast members were great and that there were no small parts because the show relied heavily on the ensemble. 

The show’s director, Zach Fischer, assistant theatre professor, shared similar sentiments in the director’s notes written in the playbill. 

“The notorious challenge of producing this show is figuring out how to realize all the imagery demanded by the script,” Fischer wrote. “There’s raging hurricanes and sinking ships tossing entire crews overboard into raging seas; there’s flying cats, flying humans, and a gigantic bloodthirsty crocodile (who also flies).”

The cast of the Albion Theatre’s latest production, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” look towards the audience as they introduce the first scene (Photo by Bella Bakeman).

The first half of the play relies heavily on narration and spectacle. What stands out about the play is that the narration comes from many different voices, allowing glimpses into each character’s individual experiences.

There is one moment during the first half of the play that stood out. The main characters, McCabe’s Peter, and Molly, played by Elena Mourad, Woodbridge Virginia senior, describe looking at one another. This unique narrational dialogue lets the audience observe a small moment in time, one that might have otherwise been overlooked. The cast portrays the complexity of each individual character while narrating their actions. This is the magic of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

As the show goes on, however, the magic fades into the background of surreal storytelling. Often, Peter is surrounded by darkness, with no magic safeguard in sight. In a flash, the entire cast shifts the scene into memories of an orphanage as he is screamed at. 

Later, Peter stands alone on an island, a representation of his seemingly eternal loneliness. But as the darkness encloses, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light shines from Molly’s necklace, showing the way to freedom. 

The play is filled with magical light, yes, but also hilarity.

Cast members dress as mermaids for a sublime musical number (Photo by Bella Bakeman).

Mourad said she loved being able to make everybody laugh throughout the show. 

“This was the most fun I’ve ever had,” she said. 

The villainous Black Stache, played by Ryan Klooster, Ann Arbor senior, also loved the comedic aspect of the production. Klooster said he worked diligently on character work for this role.

“He’s a bumbling idiot that has to be menacing,” Klooster said, adding that he couldn’t have asked for a better role to play for his senior capstone project.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is whimsical, nostalgic, hilarious and magical. It asks us to remind ourselves of our lost dreams and fantasies. 

“In the age of hyper-realized, computer-dependent fantasy, ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ asks the audience to awaken the imagination of their youth. It must be believed to be seen. Enjoy the show. And clap if you believe,” Fischer wrote.

Albion College Theatre will be running four more shows this weekend: Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

About Bella Bakeman 6 Articles
Bella Bakeman is a sophomore from Berkley, Michigan. She is double-majoring in English and Political Science with a minor in Education. Bella can be found with a camera around her neck, notebook in hand and pen in her pocket. Contact Bella via email at INB10@albion.edu.

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