Citadel Theatre presents PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Review – Energy Abounds

Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

When you take your seat at the Citadel Theatre, you feel like the audience is part of the stage—that’s how compacted the theater and the all-purpose, complex set is.  One vertical set of wooden ramps, ladders, tunnels, and cubbies serves as orphanage, drawing room, docks, the ships Neverland and Wasp, and the island kingdom of Rundoon.  Action (and there is plenty of it) focuses on the set, but the stage is expanded as actors dash among the audience.  (Eric Luchen – Scenic Director)

Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Jayson Lee (Peter), with Mariah Copeland top left (Molly), Daniel Gadaj (bottom left, Ted), and Michael Morrow (bottom right, Fighting Prawn)

Citadel Theatre Presents a Complex Fable

The program notes briefly recount how PETER AND THE STARCATCHER upends the century-old story of a miserable orphan who comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.

Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Jayson Lee (Peter), with Mariah Copeland top left (Molly), Daniel Gadaj (bottom left, Ted), and Michael Morrow (bottom right, Fighting Prawn)

17 Actors in 100 Roles

The first act sets this complex tale in motion:  orphans sold into slavery, doppelgänger trunks, one filled with sand, the other with starstuff, that are switched, stolen, raided, and eventually safely delivered.  The cast of characters is large – 17 actors playing over 100 roles.  Aside from the main characters who do not switch, only the change of a hat or prop signals same actors, but different scene, different role for the rest of the cast.

Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Adrian Danzig (Black Stache)

Mermaid Chorus Is a Welcome Change of Pace

In this reviewers opinion, the plot is a bit too complex, the action is a bit too frenetic, and one needs to adjust to the voices being non-stop loud. So, as the second act begins, the appearance of the mermaid chorus, singing about their transformation from fish who have swum in stardust to mermaids, is fun and refreshing. Madeleine Byrne (Costume Designer) completely changes the feeling of the set with convincing mermaid tails that required only one knot for the costume switch. The leads are well cast: Jayson Lee as Peter is winsome and emotionally lost; Mariah Copeland as Molly is feisty and determined; Adrian Danzig as Black Stache maliciously delivers some of the play’s best lines as does Rebecca Fletcher as Mrs. Bumbrake, a saucy cougar.

Overall though, this is mainly a good fit only for families with children Junior High level and above.

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED

Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Mariah Copeland (Molly), Jayson Lee (Peter)
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Scott Ray Merchant (Smee)
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Angelina Mussro (Scott), Scott Ray Merchant (Smee)
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Wanda Jin (Teacher), Dave Honigman (Alf), Laura Brennan (Mack), Gaby Labotka (Hawking Clam)
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Wanda Jin (Teacher), Dave Honigman (Alf), Val Gerard Garcia (Sánchez), Laura Brennan (Mack), Rebecca Fletcher (Mrs. Bumbrake), Dekyi Rongé (Slank)
Citadel Theatre PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Dekyi Rongé (Slank), Angelina Mussro (Scott), Laura Brennan (Mack), Bernadette Carter (Grempkin), Jason Goff (Prentiss), Gaby Labotka (Hawking Clam)

Directed by:  Jeremy Aluma
Written by: Rick Elice
Music by: Wayne Barker
Based on the novel by: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Cast:

Jayson Lee – Peter
Adrian Danzig – Black Stache
Mariah Copeland – Molly
Scott Ray Merchant – Smee
Laura Brennan – Mack
Bernadette Carter – Grempkin
Christian Edwin Cook – Aster
Rebecca Fletcher – Mrs. Bumbrake
Val Gerard Garcia – Sanchez
Jason Goff – Prentiss
Daniel Gadaj – Ted
Angelina Mussro - Scott
Dave Honigman – Alf
Wanda Jin – Teacher
Gaby Labotka – Hawking Clam
Michael Morrow – Fighting Prawn
Dekyi Rongé - Slank

Production Team

Eric Luchen – Scenic Designer
Andrei Borges – Lighting Designer
Madeleine Byrne – Costume Designer
Robert Hornbostel – Sound Designer
Breon Arzell – Choreography
Jon Schneidman – Musical Direction
Jaq Seifert – Fight Choreography
Lacie Hexom – Props Designer
Julia Atkin – Assistant Director
Samantha Tink – Stage Manager
Nick Peebles – Technical Director
Lindsay Mummert – Scenic Charge Artist
Scott Phelps – Citadel Artistic Director

 

When:

thru October 20th

Where:

Citadel Theatre
300 WAUKEGAN ROAD
LAKE FOREST
IL 60045

Tickets:

$15 +

For full price tickets call 847-735-8554

Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes, one intermission

Check for Half-Price Deals from Hot Tix:

Photos by North Shore Camera Club

Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago

 

Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture This Post stories about Citadel Theatre

Ann Boland
Portrait by Paul Sierra

Reviewer Ann Boland is committed to Chicago theater. Involved in the audience since the early 80’s, she’s witnessed firsthand the rise of our theater scene, our exceptional local talent, and the vigor of each new generation.  Ann handles public relations for authors and works on programs to help seniors with neurological movement disorders.  Please visit her website for more information.  

 

Click here to read more Picture this Post reviews by Ann Boland.

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2 thoughts on “Citadel Theatre presents PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Review – Energy Abounds

  1. Why did this reviewer start thie review talking about the set and not mention the scenic designer, but then she mentioned the costume designer when talking about the costumes later in the review? Also, this reviewer spent more time describing the plot of the show than she did reviewing what she saw, including all the other elements of design and the 15 other actors not mentioned.

    1. Thanks for your note Daniel. You will note that Picture this Post reviews include the cast and production team member list if possible, as this review does.

      Picture this Post stories can all begin with the words– “PICTURE THIS”. Our writers opt to include whichever elements they choose in order to convey this vivid mental picture. For productions that are SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED we often urge writers to 1) state their critique clearly and briefly, taking ownership of this critique as their own and 2) more than for plays in our BEST PLAYS categories, a focus on the plot is encouraged so as to not allow the reviewer’s personal estimation of deficits to crowd out a focus on the play per se such that our readers can make their own determination whether a particular performance is their cup of tea.

      In ALL Picture this Post reviews, a checklist of all production elements is NOT encouraged and as Editor in Chief I take great pains to edit all such ramblings out of reviews if they get in the way of making a good read and a VIVID mental picture for readers. Rather, we write for theater goers looking for tips on plays that are the best match for their limited time.

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