March 9, 2011

Sparkling Reviews for Rick Elice’s ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’!

March 9th, 2011

Peter and the Starcatcher

Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher opened Wednesday night at off-Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop to fabulous reviews. Check out the critics’ raves!

Ben Brantley, New York Times: Adapted by Rick Elice from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s popular children’s novel of 2004, “Peter and the Starcatcher” sustains a breathless air of adventure and a cocky confidence in its powers to enchant that elude most family oriented spectacles now on Broadway, including hits like “Wicked” and “Mary Poppins.” In relating the back story of how a sullen, skeptical orphan became the eternal boy known as Peter Pan, “Starcatcher” celebrates the leap of faith that occurs when we tell and believe improbable tales.

With grown-up theatrical savvy and a child’s wonder at what it can achieve, “Peter and the Starcatcher” floats right through the ceiling of the physical limits imposed by a three-dimensional stage. While there’s not a body harness in sight, like those used to hoist the title characters of “Mary Poppins” and “Spider-Man,” this show never stops flying.

Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press: This popular book has been adapted by Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”) into a rollicking, whimsical and fun-filled play that opened Wednesday night at off-Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop.

It’s a madcap musical production, filled with silly puns, hip jokes, hilariously alliterative dialogue and sophisticated zaniness. Twelve talented actors adroitly play 50 characters with facetious brio and wit.

The way a recent adult preview audience constantly erupted in laughter indicates that many of us never really do grow up. Or at least, we never outgrow our love of a joke-filled adventure story, where good triumphs over evil and a boy might even learn how to fly.

David Sheward, Rick Elice’s sparkling script plays with words the way Timber and Rees’ direction toys with stagecraft. Confusing dialogue is labeled a “nonversation.” The native chieftain, Fighting Prawn, employs types of pasta as commands to his tribe. Mrs. Bumbrake, Molly’s nanny—played by a man in drag in British pantomime tradition—uses alliteration in almost every sentence. Those are just a few examples of the vigorous verbiage. The text and direction merge perfectly to celebrate the concept of “play” in both the theatrical and childhood senses.

Congratulations to Rick Elice on his latest theatrical masterpiece!


  1. Congrats Rick, you are the man with the GOLDEN PEN,everything turns into gold, when you meet paper to pen! I have never met anyone with the greatest KARMA around them, and so deserved.
    Here’s to you, my friend, Cheers

    Comment by Kathy Johnstone — March 11, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  2. And why not?

    Comment by stubbleyou — March 11, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  3. Indeed, it is a wonderful show, with plenty of references for us baby boomers. Loved the Sarah Palin and Sally Field takeoffs.

    Comment by Howard — March 15, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  4. Rick,

    I am so happy to read this. You are an amazing human being, talent, philanthropist – Mazel Tov!

    Irene Eizen

    Comment by irene eizen — March 20, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

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