Sunday, June 26, 2016



Adventure with a Capital A sets sail in the year of our Lord 1885 when Queen Victoria commands her trustworthy Lord Aster, a heroic Mark Blashford, to get her trunk of treasure safely to the island of Rundoon. To insure the goal is reached, Lord Aster arranges for a second stash, one filled with sand, as a decoy to travel on a second ship, a slower vessel, the Neverland, and he sends his precocious daughterMolly, a plucky Reagan Roberts, to accompany it on its journey.

The Connecticut Repertory Theatre will be commandeering the ships until Saturday, July 2 as “Peter and the Starcatcher” flies through storms and harsh seas at the Jorgensen Theatre on the campus of the University of Connecticut to 
a safe destination. Pirates and other such villains are always a danger.

 Based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, in a play by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker, “Peter and the Starcatcher“ is the prequel to the tale of Peter Pan. Prompted by Elice's son who asked his dad, “How did Peter Pan get his name?”, this intriguing tale ventures into the origins of our favorite orphan lad who refuses to grow up.

Long before  Peter Pan  flies into the bedroom of the Darling children, there were many adventures in his life. To learn about a young Peter, who didn't even have the privilege of a name and was known simply as The Boy, travel straight to the UCONN campus  to make his acquaintance and discover his fascinating and complicated history.

We all know the Peter Pan iwho never wants to grow up.  He flies to Neverland and encounters a mean-spirited Captain Hook, a devil of a crocodile, an Indian Princess and a whole passel of Lost Boys who look to him as their fearless leader.  He entices Wendy Darling and her brothers Michael and John to leave their 
comfy home and learn to fly to Neverland with him.

But what happened before Peter Pan and Wendy meet?    A dozen talented actors will create over a hundred different roles, with a minimum of fuss and props, from pirates to villains, mermaids to Molly, the only female in the cast and clearly the courageous and self assured heroine.

Imagine, and you're called upon to rev up your creative juices, a treasure chest that you must guard as a commission from the Queen.  You are Lord Aster
and you are traveling with your young daughter Molly and her nanny, Mrs. Bumbrake, (Jason Bohon) to the Kingdom of Rundoon and it is your responsibility to make sure the chest arrives safely to its destination.  To fool the pirates, a similar chest, filled with sand, is being sent as a decoy but the sinister captain, Bill Slank, (Forrest McClendon) uncovers the ruse and switches them.  He is piloting the wreck of a vessel, the Neverland, with Molly and her nanny aboard, while the real treasure was supposed to be on the fastest ship of the fleet, the Wasp, with Lord Aster.

To further his nefarious scheme, Slank purchases a trio of lads, from the Orphanage for Lost Boys, (Ryan Shea and Scott Redmond) and one of whom will later claim the name of Peter.  Watch 
for a magic amulet that glows when there is danger, a group of mermaids who think they belong in Vaudeville, plots and counter plots to claim and reclaim the treasure, ships that sink, pirates and passengers who go overboard, a quite hungry crocodile Mr. Grin who has a taste for humans, a strange language known only to Dodo birds and a magic material known as starstuff that everyone covets.  And that's just a little appetizer of the plot!  Michael Doherty's Black Stache is devilishly and deliciously evil as he traits capture the treasure for himself and, instead, earns the moniker Captain Hook.

For tickets ($12 to 55), call the CT Repertory Theatre, at 860-486-2113 or online at  Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 
7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Creativity,  imagination and the spirit of adventure soar as this storytelling extravaganza flies free and far in a theatrical experience like no other, thanks to the talented cleverness of director Vincent J. Cardinal.

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