By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
In 2012 “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the wildly successful off Broadway show of the boy who would be Peter Pan, transferred to Broadway and the question was would it lose any of the dazzlingly fun riff on the Peter Pan legend that lit up the New York Theatre Workshop show a year earlier? The answer, resoundingly, NO! Ben Brantley of the New York Times said, “The extravagantly resourceful ensemble members of “Peter and the Starcatcher” have almost nothing in the way of modern machinery to support their skyscraping journeys. On the contrary, there’s little here that couldn’t be found in a theatre 150 years ago. What they do have is some ordinary rope, a couple of ladders, a few household appliances, two toy boats, and most important, one another. And, they have you, dear theatregoer, because in this ecstatic production you’re as important a part of this process as they are…”
I think you can ascertain from Brantley’s writing that this was considered ground-breaking, marvelous entertainment—and possibly on a very limited budget! As he said, “It’s simply a celebration of youth and the power of theatre to inspire children and adults alike.” The director of this Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology production, Jennifer Mathews, told me that this show was the most fun to direct of any show she has ever done and the kids are having a ball doing it! And I believe it. I was dying to get to New York to see it when it was running, but now instead, I’m going to Alexandria this weekend and revel in its sure-to-be delightful staging and performances. You may remember that I wrote a piece in our March, 2017 Zebra Newspaper on TJHS’s production of “Les Miserables.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t do a review of it, but if I had, I would have told you how much this production charmed me and how it was totally unforgettable in the earnest, but beautiful singing voices I heard, as well as the imaginative staging, the professional quality acting by high school students, and the absolutely marvelous 30-plus-piece orchestra!
This production should be tiny and intimate compared to that one, but, I suspect, will be no less memorable. I will be there! I hope you will, also!
Performance Dates, Times, and Ticket Info: Performances THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 pm; Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 pm. Order/print your own tickets at www.TJDrama.com. Adult tickets are $15, seniors and children $10.
Location: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Auditorium, 6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. Enter through Door 12.