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Before the Lost Boys

Hit play at ASU Gammage reveals Peter Pan’s pre-Neverland past

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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 10:33 am

Have you ever paused to think how Peter Pan became — well, Peter Pan?

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson did. They wrote a book about it called “Peter and the Starcatcher.” That book became a play, and that play is one of the hottest new theatre pieces on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards. It’s now on national tour and comes this month to ASU Gammage in Tempe.

The play follows a band of orphans who, enroute to a foreign land, find a chest of heavenly magic, a boatload of greedy pirates, and a starcatcher-in-training named Molly, who one day becomes Wendy’s mother.

This isn’t your warm and fuzzy Cathy Rigby version of Neverland, though. Megan Stern, who stars as Molly, says the play tells the backstory for the characters we know and love, but with a certain “grittiness.”

Peter comes from an orphange and from a dark place, she says, so the imaginative show, which incorporates musical numbers and complex choreography, addresses issues most small children won’t completely comprehend.

While younger kids won’t get as much out of it, there’s no profanity or inappropriate material, says Stern, adding that it’s “extraordinarily funny” with an “edgy sense of humor,” employing some pop culture references.

The show comes to Tempe after a month-long run in L.A., giving families the opportunity to catch this star before it goes on to bigger things, like a film version, which is supposedly in the works and helmed by “Hunger Games” director Gary Ross.



IF YOU GO

What: ”Peter and the Starcatcher”

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 14-17, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19.

Where: ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe.

Cost: $28.10-$82.30.

Information: (480) 965-3434 or ASUgammage.com.

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