Onstage: Peter and the Starcatcher

Black Stache, the comical pirate who evolves into Captain Hook in Peter and the Starcatcher — currently onstage at the Playhouse — is full of bluster and malapropisms.

Peter and the Starcatcher at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Peter and the Starcatcher at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

In Rick Elice’s loopy script (based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s novel about Peter Pan’s backstory), wordplay abounds, sometimes blowing by faster than the typhoon that comes upon ships on the way to Rundoon with three orphan boys to be sold into slavery. But this ensemble cast can manage wind speed as they narrate and perform the hilarious show — sometimes individually, sometimes together — but even more so as they race through delirious reinvention of the fairytale. 


Everything is performed both obviously and imaginatively, from levitating (at the close end of a seesaw plank) to a storm at sea to flying (with just the suggestion of motion, no wires — no “real” taking flight). Amusing costumes, a star field of 200 incandescent light bulbs and buckets of stage magic make it possible. 

Starcatcher is not a very adult cup of tea; it’s more a swig of giggle-inducing rum. But for anyone yearning to return to childhood for a few hours — reveling in clever wordplay, fart jokes and an adventure won “against impossible odds” — this show is a must-see. 

Peter and the Starcatcher continues through April 4. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.

About The Author

Rick Pender

RICK PENDER has written about theater for CityBeat since its first issues in 1994. Before that he wrote for EveryBody’s News. From 1998 to 2006 he was CityBeat’s arts & entertainment editor. Retired from a long career in public relations, he’s still a local arts fan, providing readers (and public radio listeners)...
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