Community Players present “Peter and the Starcatcher”


“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a whimsical and enchanting theatrical experience that captivates audiences with its imaginative storytelling and inventive staging. The Community Players of Pawtucket have chosen this production for their 102nd Season roster.  Directed by L.A. Busteed, with Musical Director by Lauren Pothier, this Tony Award-winning play is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, with a script by Rick Elice. Set as a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of Peter Pan, the play follows the adventures of a young orphan boy named Peter and his journey to Neverland.

One of the most striking aspects of “Peter and the Starcatcher” is its ingenious use of minimalistic set pieces and props to create a vivid and immersive world. The cast transforms everyday objects into fantastical elements, from a simple rope becoming a ship’s rigging to a trunk becoming a boat. This resourcefulness adds to the charm and magic of the production, allowing the audience to use their imagination to fill in the gaps.

At its heart, “Peter and the Starcatcher” is a coming-of-age story about friendship, courage, and the power of imagination. Through Peter’s adventures, the play explores themes of identity, belonging, and the loss of innocence, resonating with audiences of all ages. As Peter discovers his inner hero and learns to believe in himself, the audience is reminded of the importance of embracing the childlike wonder and curiosity that resides within us all.

Yes, there are smarmy pirates and a vicious king of an island, a truck with magical contents, a brave boy, an even braver girl, a loving father, a doting nanny, a goofy lover, site gags, and stage antics galore! There is something for everyone in this production.

The ensemble cast delivers some solid performances, bringing characters to life with energy and enthusiasm.  Actors play several roles and the chemistry between the actors is palpable, eliciting laughter from the audience throughout the show. Coldy O’Tool in the role of Black Stache, the flamboyant and villainous pirate captain, with his over-the-top antics and witty one-liners, is a scene stealer.

David J. Richard plays “The Boy” who finally finds his name, Peter, and his home.  As Peter travels with two additional orphan friends, and experiences many adventures, he reaches his final destination – Neverland.  Thus begins the well-known and beloved story of “ the lost boys” who remain on the island.

The stand-out in this production is Angelina Manfredi as Molly.  With spunk, spit and vinegar, Manfredi delivers a wonderful character that proves girls can be leaders, brave, courageous, loyal and true.  It is Molly who names Peter “the Pan,” and also gives the island its magical name of Neverland.  Manfredi is subtle in her character development, never pushing the limits and providing an authenticity on stage that is never a caricature, but a real, young woman.  She is sure to go far in the business of Theater Arts if she continues to develop and hones the immense talent she already brings to the stage.

Two additional and beautiful performances were rendered by Richard Canedo as Lord Aster, Molly’s father, and Megan M. Smith as Mrs. Bumbrake, the nurse and also as the wise, Scottish mermaid.  Lord Aster provides Molly with a magic amulet, but beyond that, he gives her love, encouragement and faith in her abilities – which prove to be the most powerful magic of all.  Smith provides the audience with a heartwarming nurse and loyal friend of both Molly and Lord Aster.  With both a lovely voice and solid acting skills, Smith is a welcomed respite from a plethora of gags and screaming pirates.

A special kudos to Matthew Marion, the production’s pianist/musician, who is stellar in both his keyboard skills and creativity.  Marion added a delightful spark to this production as well as pre-curtain music that was most welcomed by the audience.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a magical and heartwarming theatrical experience that transports audiences to a world of adventure and imagination. With its inventive staging and timeless themes, it’s a must-see for theatergoers looking for an entertaining night at the theater.

“Peter and The Starcatcher” runs thru Friday and Saturday February 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 25 at 2 p.m.

Jenkins Auditorium, 350 Division St., Pawtucket

Tickets:  $25/adults and $12/children


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