‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ Makes Audiences Want to Fly to Neverland

Donald Lierman, Writer

Does the current state of affairs bring you down? Do you yearn to escape to a realm where life is just, gol’ dang it, simpler and purer? Maybe the time is right to revisit old friends on a journey to Neverland.

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Department of Theatre will present Peter and the Starcatcher, conceived by Robert Rees and Alex Timbers, written by Rick Elice, music composed by Wayne Baker, and directed by Janet Haley.

According to the promotion card for the show, “Using live music, song, and wildly imaginative physical theatre conventions, this Tony-award adaptation of Pearson’s best-selling novels upends the old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up – aka Peter Pan.”

“Over a dozen actors portray more than 100 unforgettable characters (including marauding pirates, jungle tyrants, unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes), Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores how the bonds of friendship, duty and love can help us overcome greed and despair. An epically entertaining performance suitable for all ages.”

This somewhat jaded reporter found the set compelling, the plot absorbing and the passion of the players irresistible when he attended the dress rehearsal of the upcoming performance.

Peter and the StarCatcher is based on a novel of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The play has won numerous awards, including the Obie and the Tony. The play is promoted as a family-oriented production but all that are young at heart should be impressed by the production.

Peter and the Starcatcher is an amazing rendition of how Peter Pan got his name,” said sophomore Cynthia Risch, a theatre performance major at the university. “I absolutely love the playfulness, beauty and comedy of this show.”

The Davison native finds the theatre performance program not only stimulating but the production beneficial to her academic pursuits.

“This performance impacts my education because it’s what I am studying. It helps us theatre students to apply what we learn in class to our rehearsals,” said Risch. “Theatre and singing are my favorite things to do and that is why I would like to build my career off of it.

Performances will be and have been held on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. (with an ASL Interpreter), Friday, Nov.r 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov.4, at 2 p.m.  All shows will be performed at the UM-Flint Theatre located at 303 E. Kearsley Street, in Flint.

According to ticketsthewhiting.com, regular ticket prices are $15, senior (60+) tickets are $10 and college student tickets with a valid student ID are $8.

For further information, visit the UM-Flint Theatre’s Facebook page or the university’s website for season information.