Blackfriars Theatre’s third show of its 70th anniversary season features a dozen actors portraying over 100 characters and telling the tale of the most famous boy who would never grow up.
Based on the young adult novel of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, written by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker, “Peter and the Starcatcher” relies on innovative stagecraft and the imagination.
The play follows a young orphan and his mates who 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 precious, otherworldly cargo.
At sea, the boys are discovered by Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes the trunk’s cargo is starstuff, a powerful celestial substance. 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 an adventure.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” is appropriate for all ages.
“It’s the perfect blend of adventure, humor and heart that inspires every child in the audience, and ignites the child within all of the parents and adults as well,” said Danny Hoskins, artistic and managing director. “At first glance it’s a simple coming-of-age story, but wrap it in the theatrical whimsy and joy provided by watching a dozen actors take on multiple roles, including mermaids, pirates, crocodiles, horses and even playing the inanimate (doors, water, trees) … and all of a sudden we’re thrust into a world of innocence and make-believe, where our imagination is on fire and our hearts yearn and hope for the unattainable: to never grow up. It taps into the freedom of childhood — the love, the play, the joy and adventure, the innocence and invincibility — and it’s in this realm of youthful yearning where the story becomes most powerful and personal.”
The cast includes Mark Brummitt (Lord Aster), Joseph Buck (Prentiss), Marcella Cincotta (Molly), Stefan Cohen (Black Stache), Harry Franklin (Boy), Danny Kincaid Kunz (Grempkin, Fighting Prawn), Ben Liebrand (Ted), Hector Manuel (Alf), Jason Rugg (Mrs. Bumbrake), Scott Shriner (Captain Scott), Jeff Siuda (Smee), and Rick Staropoli (Slank, Hawking Clam). The production is directed by Hoskins, with musical direction by Amanda Valvano Meldrum-Stevenson and choreography by Mandi Lynn Griffith-Gurell.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” will run Dec. 13-31 at Blackfriars Theatre, 795 E. Main St., Rochester. Tickets start at $31.50. Call (585) 454-1260 or visit blackfriars.org for information.