In July I did something I’ve not done before – saw my first Disney show on Broadway! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen Disney other Disney Theatrical Group performances including The Lion King in San Francisco and Beauty and the Beast in Chicago. But this was my first Disney show ON BROADWAY. I know what you are thinking…..lots of people haven’t seen a Disney show on Broadway. But do those people live within 3 hours of NYC? And are they as crazy about theater as I am? I’ve lived in Connecticut over 2 years now, and have not been taking enough advantage of getting down to NYC to see some shows. But that changed in July!
Well really it first changed in June. At the NYC WDW Radio Meet in early June I made some wonderful new friends. And I seemed to recall one of them mentioning a love of the theater. So after getting back home I sent her a tweet asking if I’d heard right. Not only was I correct, but she was just as anxious as me to see some shows. I was pretty flexible since I want to see..oh EVERYTHING….and she had a particular desire to see Peter and the Starcatchers. So that is what we made plans for!
Flash forward to mid July, our weekend was FINALLY here. We had tickets to a 2pm Saturday show. This would allow me plenty of time to get down to NYC, grab a quick bite, hit the Disney Store in Times Square (come on, you knew that would be one of my stops right?), see the show, and grab dinner before heading back home again.
Personally I had not read the book. Well, not the entire book. I did try and read some of it. But I’m finding that sometimes this ruins the show for me. Well, not ruins it. But often there are quite major changes from the book to the show (anyone who has both read and seen Wicked knows what I’m talking about). Anyway, I did try and start the book to get a feel for the story. But, don’t get mad at me if you love it, I just couldn’t get into it. I know there are some HUGE fans of these books. And fans of the other Ridley Pearson series, Kingdom Keepers. I guess I’m just not all that into Ridley’s writing style. I have read some of the Kingdom Keeper books. But I don’t find they captivate me like some other books I’ve read. I should be able to sit down and read them in a sitting or two, and instead I seem to take forever (often reading something else at the same time). The same seemed to hold true for me for Peter and the Starcatchers.
But I wasn’t worried, everyone in my twitter/facebook worlds who had seen the show was RAVING about it. And I watched it bring home 5 Tony’s this year. So I was sure it would be a great great show. And it WAS!
I can’t recall ever laughing so much at any other play I’ve been to. My cheeks actually were a bit sore at the end of the day from laughing. I don’t know why this surprised me so much – one of the books authors is Dave Barry. But the little I’d read of the book I didn’t find all that funny. The play is HILARIOUS. Whether its the bits of pop culture thrown in for a laugh, or the crazy intentional over-acting, or the lines themselves. It was seriously funny.
One of the things I really loved about it was the staging. The physical sets were minimal, and often the cast members themselves make up the set pieces. I know that description doesn’t do it justice, but as a long time lover of the theater, it was not some thing I recall seeing done much – and certainly not done as well as it was during this show. It was really fascinating to see how this was done.
Last but not least, I loved seeing how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. Having NOT read the book in its entirety I wasn’t sure what Pearson and Barry’s take on the story of Peter Pan was or where they were going with it. But I’ve always loved stories told by a slightly different perspective – its part of what I love about Wicked and the other books written by Gregory Maquire. And Peter and the Starcatchers did not disappoint in this area.
My only complaint? That D23 doesn’t stay on top of its member benefits offered. At the time we bought our tickets to Peter and the Starcatchers, the D23 discount that HAD been in place had just expired. So we paid regular ticket price. I happened to be looking at the D23 page this week to figure out what we should go see next. And the Peter and the Starcatchers discounts were extended thru September. Would have been nice if we’d been able to take advantage of that. But oh well!
All in all, if you are looking to take a trip into NYC and see a show or two, I definitely recommend Peter and the Starcatchers. According to their website, tickets are available thru January 2013 as of the present time. Something to keep in mind if you are planning to bring the family, it is recommended that this show is for ages 10 and up.