Thursday, January 26, 2017

reviews - PETER AND THE STARCATCHER - Brelby Theatre Company

Shelby Maticic and Alex Tuchi
Photo by Anabel Olguin
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through February 12th.

"Just about everyone knows the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, the young girl he whisked away to Neverland, but how did Peter become the boy who wouldn't grow up?...Brelby Theatre Company presents the first locally produced Peter and the Starcatcher in a well-cast and sharply directed production that is beautiful, magical, full of life, love, and an abundance of infectious energy.... tells us the story of how an unnamed orphan became the famous boy named Peter Pan who wouldn't grow up. It also answers some other questions, including how Captain Hook lost his hand, how the crocodile got the clock in his belly, and how Tinkerbell came to life. Using a mostly bare stage is a play that shows how the power of imagination can bring a story rich with pirates and adventure to life right in front of our eyes. Director Louis Farber has cast this production with talented leads and a supporting group of actors who all play multiple parts with ease and dexterity....As Peter, Alex Tuchi projects a youthful gleam for fun and adventure beneath his unsure and lost exterior while his measured line delivery and downward looks effectively portray Peter's naivete. As Molly, the girl that Peter meets and who changes his life, Shelby Maticic is full of spirit and spunk....Brian Maticic turns the villainous part of Black Stache... into a crowd-pleaser....(his) ability to take the simple repeated phrase of "oh my God," with various facial expressions and vocal inflections, and turn it into one of hilarity. ...Farber's direction keeps the pace at a breakneck speed for most of the evening, though he makes sure the few quiet moments resonate. ...Having seen this play on Broadway I believe that it plays even better in a small venue, which lets the intimacy of the story and the journey of the main characters resonate in a clearer and more focused way. ....the first few minutes of the show..are somewhat muddy...only a few of the actors attempt English accents, which just comes across as odd, especially since the three orphan boys are mentioned as being British yet none of them speaks with a British accent. And while Maticic's performance of Stache's "oh my God!" solo bit is very funny, it goes on just a beat or two too long and I believe if it were trimmed just a bit it would be even funnier. The combination of the simple yet effective set design by Niccole Minnie Cluff with Mollie Flanagan's exceptional lighting and our own imagination creates a treasure trove of scenes and locations before our eyes, from a ship's hold to a giant crocodile's mouth. ...Any fairy tale requires the imagination of the person reading it to make the story come to life. With an engaging cast, sure-footed direction, and impressive creative elements, Brelby's production of Peter and the Starcatcher lets your sense of imagination run free in a simply beautiful theatrical experience. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...I have to hand it to Brian Maticic,,,His scenery chewing as the pirate Black Stache, the cartoonish villain in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” is admirably over the top, and his take on the Big Moment at the end ... is every bit as good as, maybe even better than, the Broadway tour that played Tempe in 2014 ... an exuberantly rude and anachronistic “Peter Pan” prequel ...about how a nameless orphan (Alex Tuchi) becomes the Boy Who Never Grows Up, with help from a plucky English girl with a stiff upper lip and secret powers (Shelby Maticic)....using simple props and a lot of imagination, makes it a great fit for a tiny theater like Brelby, and director Louis Farber has orchestrated an energetic and entertainment production, with cast members grunting merrily as they move crates around to reconfigure the set....." Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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