★★★★☆ - Delicious
Just like in fairy tales, in the magical world of theater anything is possible if only you believe. Believe that an undulating rope is a wave on the ocean, or that a rolling ladder is a lookout tower on a sailing ship. Or that a floppy yellow glove is a pesky bird, and that with the help of “starstuff” kitty cats can fly. It’s possible to believe anything when you let your imagination run free.
And believe we did, those of us in the rowdy, packed, all-ages audience at Las Vegas Little Theatre on opening night of their rollicking presentation of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” Rick Elice’s 2009 Tony Award-winning stage adaptation (with music by Wayne Baker) is based on the 2004 similarly titled children’s novel by humor columnist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, which serves as a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy” and gives the backstory to Peter Pan (and other iconic characters) and how he got his symbolic wings.
Set during the Victorian British Empire the story is action-packed and hilarious but has a complicated plot, with dual narratives in the first act taking place on two ships sailing on separate voyages, carrying very different cargoes and passengers. But after a violent tempest in the second act everyone finds themselves shipwrecked on an island filled with hostile natives and a giant crocodile named Mr. Grin.
The Wasp carries Starcatcher Lord Aster (a very regal Chris Hermening) who has bee