Littleton Town Hall Arts Center showing wacky prequel to ‘Peter Pan’
Special to the Daily
If you go ...
What: “Peter and the Starcathcers.”
Where: Little Town Hall Arts Center, just under two hours from Vail.
When: Showing through Feb. 4.
More information: Visit www.townhallartscenter.org.
By my reckoning, there have been more than 11 million different versions of the “Peter Pan” story written or produced since J.M. Barrie created the character in the early 1900s.
Add to that one more, the recently stage adaptation of the novel “Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Now playing at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center, “Peter and the Starcatcher” examines in exhaustive and sometimes hilarious detail a bizarre series of voyages, double-dealing, magical acts, piratical doings and downright Dickensian child abuse that led to the arrival and ultimate marooning of Peter and the Lost Boys on an island they call Neverland.
If it sounds complicated, it is. And I have to admit my comprehension of the plot (not to mention my interest) wavered a good deal throughout the show.
Moving Things Along
The first act has a lot of work to do establishing what the dozen or so characters are up to and ramping up the byzantine plot that involves two ships, two switched trunks, captains good and bad, orphans, seamen and, at one point, a rubber glove doubling as a curious bird.
At intermission, my wife and I confirmed that we were equally lost but also intrigued and, as usual, impressed by Town Hall’s excellent production — this one directed and choreographed by the tireless and talented Nick Sugar.
The second act kicks off with a bawdy, vaudevillian drag performance with the entire cast singing something about mermaids. While it didn’t appear related to the plot per se, it’s a hilarious bit that kick-starts a series of events and explanations that make sense of the story so far. How Peter and the Lost Boys got to Neverland is certainly a valid question, and one never very well explained in the source material. If you or your kids are eager to explore it, then you’d probably enjoy this production, which is aimed at all audiences.
Town Hall’s production is top-notch, with a fun, strong cast and a small but vigorous live band moving things along. There’s not a bad seat in this theater, and the building is right in the heart of Littleton’s charming downtown, full of cool restaurants and bars. If you’re up for a little magic, it’d make for a fun night out.