(HADDON TOWNSHIP, NJ) — “To have faith is to have wings.” Ready to take flight with the second show of its 2022-2023 season, The Ritz Theater Company presents Peter and the star catcher, the highly imaginative, Tony Award-winning play on the unknown origins of Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Neverland. Directed by Ritz Associate Artistic Director Matthew Weil, the production runs at The Ritz from October 21 to November 6.
“Most directors will tell you that we spend a good part of our artistic lives struggling with the word ‘why’; why this piece, why this moment, etcetera,” explains Mr. Weil when asked what he finds artistically inspiring about this particular work. “It is very rare that the ‘how’ of a piece is more stimulating than the ‘why’. With Peter and the star catcher, however, this is exactly the case. Social relevance is easy with themes and characters as timeless as those featured in Peter Pan. That said, I think the real magic and lasting impact of this piece is in its style of presentation. It’s the magic of theater.”
Peter and the star catcher turns upside down the centuries-old story of how a miserable orphan becomes “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” (aka Peter Pan). A wildly theatrical adaptation of the best-selling novels by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the play was conceived for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwitting comrades and unlikely heroes, the show playfully explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. With a dozen actors portraying more than 100 unforgettable characters, this family game uses clever performance art and boundless imagination to bring the story to life.
“It’s a piece like Peter and the star catcher that touches on what makes theater such a unique and valuable artistic medium worth investing in and preserving,” says Mr. Weil. “You can’t have an experience like Peter and the star catcher on Netflix or at the movies.”
Completing Mr. Weil’s creative team on this project are music and vocal director Kristy Joe Slough, set and lighting designer Jen Donsky, costume designer Megan Iafolla, stage manager Sara Viniar, and assistant stage manager Ashley Engelson. . Regarding the cast, the production features Dylan Corbett as The Boy, Addison Clark as Molly Aster, Tommy Balne as Black Stache, Joe Carlucci as Smee, Zachary Moore as Prentiss, Elliot Colahan as Ted, Darryl Thompson Jr. as Lord Leonard Aster . , AJ Klein as Bill Slank/Hawking Clam, Stephen Jackson as Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher, Nicholas French as Alf, Robert Repici as Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and Michael Arigot as Grempkin/Mack/Sanchez/Fighting Prawn. Everyone is incredibly excited to bring this innovative, dynamic and energetic show to the Ritz stage and to share this story with audiences of all ages.
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“I hope that audiences leave the theater feeling lighter and more fun than when they entered,” concludes Mr. Weil. “We’re asking the audience to actively engage with their inner child, to be silly, funny and flippant.”
Ticket prices: General Admission — $30; Artist/Student Race: $15. Tickets available online, by phone and at the box office.
The Ritz Theater Company is found in 915 White Horse Pike Haddon Township, New Jersey.
PHOTOS: (ABOVE) Peter, played by Dylan Corbett; (BELOW) Black Stache, played by Tommy Balne