Peter and the Starcatcher

By Ben Wolfson11th Grade, Hunter College High School Peter and the Starcatcher, a prequel to Peter Pan, begins in an Oliver-Twistesque Britain where three 13-year-old boys (one is Peter) sail on The Neverland to a far off island. On the ship, they are be­friended by an inquisitive girl, Molly, who has a penchant for adventure and a secret that she’s bursting to share. The actors are used in very creative ways. At one point, they stand in a line facing away from the audience and act as doors — when Molly “opens” one, we see what is happening in that room. Later in the play, the same actors that play the pirates sing a shanty while dressed in mermaid costumes (complete with bikinis). Molly’s nanny Ms. Bum­brake (played by a man) and Alf, a sailor, end up wooing the audience with their unique romantic antics. Another refreshing piece of theatre workmanship was the clever manipulation of the fourth wall (the symbolic barrier between the audi­ence and the actors on stage). Audience participation is always engaging and adds a critical dimension to the play — whether it’s being asked to imagine cats flying or to ignore bits of dialogue. Why would a teenager ever want see this “kids” show? When Peter says his last good­bye to Molly and tells her that he will never grow up, the adult in me was unable to stop the pity I felt for him. As a teen, too often I see plays about the horror and pain of growing up. However, in Peter and the Starcatcher, the last goodbye shows the bittersweet dullness of staying young forever. TICKETS: thru 4/17 • $25 student tix • NYTW, 79 E. 4th St. website