I think this quote perfectly fits the Republican party. But that’s not what I’m writing about. I went to see Peter and the Starcatcher for a final time on Broadway last night. I saw it once off-Broadway at NYTW, and then again at their first preview on Broadway. 

The show has some insanely special moments (when Molly walks into several different rooms on her ship? That’s quite epic!), but my favorite will forever be the final scene. When everything is tied together: Tinkerbell is created, the island is named Neverland, and we find out who Molly becomes later in life, among other things.

Peter is one of the most uniquely designed shows I’ve seen in the last decade. It deserved every TONY Award it won. The new cast is very good (of course I’m still partial to the originals, but hey). I’m glad Adam Chanler-Berat stuck around though. I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Peter. Betsy Hogg (Molly) grew on me as the show progressed. 

Peter remains magical, and will only become more magical when it moves back into the space that I believe it was made for: a small, intimate space (like NYTW). A couple members of the company are transferring to New World Stages, but most of the cast will be new. 

I digress: What I’m trying to say is that I am happy I was able to see Peter and the Starcatcher once more before it closes. I hope you all have the chance to see it too, or that you see it off-Broadway.

and the winner is…

The New York Times critics released their picks for the Tonys quite early (so it seemed) which also included who they thought were snubbed. These are always fun to read.

I’ve seen almost all of the best musical/play nominees, except for Nice Work If You Can Get It which I still have yet to decide whether or not I want to pay nearly $40 to see it. Gershwin is an American legend, but he’s not anywhere near the top of my list of favorite  composers. So everyone’s anticipation can be put to rest, as I now present to you with my opinions on who was nominated, who I think should win, and who I think was tragically overlooked.

Best Musical: The nominees include Once, NewsiesLeap of Faith, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Who do I think should win? Once. It is an artistic masterpiece. It is visually stunning, emotionally moving, and the score is one of the best out there. What will win? If Once doesn’t get it, Newsies most certainly will. It has a worthy opponent, but there’s something about Once that strikes a deeper chord with me. I think it’s more universal, plus it needs the win to do well on tour. What should’ve been nominated? Hands down: GhostGhost is visually stunning and I was never bored for one minute of the two and a half hours. Leap of Faith was, with all due respect, a visually horrendous bore. 

Best Play: This category is going to be tough. Each nominee is fantastic: Clybourne ParkVenus in FurPeter and the Starcatcher, and Other Desert Cities. My first instinct is to say that Clybourne Park will take this one, but there is a chance that Other Desert Cities or possibly Peter and the Starcatcher might slide in. Although I absolutely loved Venus in Fur, I don’t think it has touring potential and it’s a limited run, so the award wouldn’t help it in any way. What should have been nominated was The Lyons. I find this show hilarious but maybe not all of the nominating committee has had a Jewish grandmother before. Or Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar definitely deserved a nod as well. (This snubbing was, I think, her punishment for writing Smash.)

Best Book of a Musical: The nominees are Lysistrata JonesOnceNice Work If You Can Get It, and Newsies. Given that Once and Newsies aren’t original books, so to speak, I’m going say that Lysistrata Jones has a pretty good chance of snagging this one much to everyone’s surprise. Is their book the best? No, not at all. The show didn’t work very well on Broadway. Or Newsies could very well start sweeping the awards and take this as well. What should have been nominated? Bonnie and Clyde. Sue me, but I really enjoyed that show and I thought the book was engaging the entire time. 

Best Original Score: The nominees are Bonnie and ClydeOne Man, Two Guv’norsNewsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher. I would love for Bonnie and Clyde to take this one, but it never will because the voters hate Wildhorn too much.  Newsies will probably sweep it because the other two are plays and that would be kind of sad for a play to take Best Original Score. (Though the score in One Man, Two Guv’nors was quite good.) What should have been nominated? Wonderland. (No, just kidding!) I don’t think there were any other truly memorable great scores written in the past season. I don’t remember the music to Lysistrata Jones. But part of me remembers a lot of the music from Newsies being in the movie too, and in that case, Once should also have been able to be nominated for Best Original Score.    

Best Revival of a Play: The nominees include Death of a SalesmanThe Best ManWit, and Master Class. First a huge congratulations is in order to MTC for scoring two nominations in this category. Each one of these nominees was a pleasure to sit through (though you never quite believed that Cynthia Nixon was a scholar in Wit), but I’m going to say that Death of a Salesman gets this one, if the voters don’t decide to be total star-fuckers for ratings and award The Best Man instead. Although there are a fair number of stars in Salesman too, but I just thought Salesman was better than The Best Man. I don’t think there were any shows that should’ve been nominated in this category. 

Best Revival of a Musical: The nominees this year are EvitaFolliesThe Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Jesus Christ Superstar.  Jesus Christ Superstar and Follies were my favorites this year, and I’m going to put my money on Follies winning. It was a favorite this year, but Porgy and Bess was also a beautiful production, though it bored me to tears, and I could see it sneaking in from behind and taking the award.

Alright, the rest of these will be short…. Click through!

Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a PlayWill win: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Death of a Salesman). Should win: James Corden (One Man, Two Guv’nors). [Really, I’m okay with either one winning.]

Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Will win: Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur). Should win: Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur). [Again, all of these nominees were memorable and fantastic, but you just have to see Arianda’s performance to believe it.]

Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Will/should win: Danny Burstein (Follies). If you saw him in this show, you’ll know that’s true. I also thought Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) was fantastic. 

Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: I think this is a toss up between Jan Maxwell (Follies) and Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess). I hope it’s Maxwell’s year, finally. Cristin Milioti (Once) could sneak through and win though because her performance is so heartbreaking. 

Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: I think Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) should win, but if the voters are starf*ckers, Andrew Garfield (Death of a Salesman) might win instead. 

Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: I think Judith Light (Other Desert Cities) or Linda Edmond (Death of a Salesman) will walk away with this award, but I’d love to see Spencer Kayden (Don’t Dress For Dinner) or Celia Keenan Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) win this. 

Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: David Alan Grier (Porgy and Bess) or Michael Cerveris (Evita) will take this one, but I’d love to see Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar) run away with it. His Judas is brilliantly sung and acted. 

Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: This is a toss-up, I believe, between Judy Kaye (Nice Work..) and Jessie Mueller (On A Clear Day..). I didn’t see either of these two women perform, but I heard that they were both brilliant. 

Best Direction of a Play: Roger Rees and Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher) will hopefully take this. Their direction is original and innovative. Mike Nichols (Death of a Salesman) could pull through though. 

Best Direction of a Musical: I hope John Tiffany wins for Once, though I won’t be surprised if Jeff Calhoun takes it for Newsies

Best Choreography: Everyone else can go home, Christopher Gattelli for Newsies will take this one. 

Best OrchestrationsWill win: Danny Troob (Newsies). Should win: Martin Lowe (Once).

Best Scenic Design of a Play: Daniel Ostling (Clybourne Park) better win this. The transformation between the first and second acts is amazing. I know a lot of people are going to say Donyale Werle (Peter and the Starcatcher) should win because his idea for the set was so innovative, but it was also extremely minimal and there wasn’t much a set designed. 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical: I hope George Tsypin (Ghost) takes this. His set was visually stunning, but I won’t be surprised if Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel (Newsies) win either. 

Best Costume Design of a Play: William Ivey Long’s (Don’t Dress For Dinner) costumes stand out the most over the other nominees, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Paloma Young (Peter and the Starcatcher) wins.

Best Costume Design of a Musical: If the voters will award any award to Spider-man, I believe it will be this one to Elko Ishioka. The costumes are pretty out there. If not, I’m predicting Gregg Barnes will win it for his gorgeous work in Follies.

Best Lighting Design of a Play: Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher) better take this one. If not, Brian McDevitt (Death of a Salesman) is a strong contender as well.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical: I believe Natasha Katz (Follies) would still have a good chance if it were still open – I’m pretty sure the lighting was quite haunting – but it’s not, so I’m putting my money on Hugh Vanstone (Ghost) or Natasha Katz (Once).

Best Sound Design of a Play: I didn’t notice the sound design being remarkable for any of the nominees, but I’ll say Darron L. West (Peter and the Starcatcher) will win this one.

Best Sound Design of a Musical: This is a toss-up for me between Clive Goodwin (Once) and Kai Harada (Follies), and I really have no idea which way the critics will go. 

There’s my long-winded prediction for the winners this year. Who do you think will win?

photo credit: me

New York Theatre Workshop is on a roll. Currently on Broadway they have two shows that originated at their theatre. I was offered tickets to the first preview of Peter and the Starcatcher a couple of weeks ago, so of course I said yes (after having enjoyed it at NYTW) and I took my mom who’s favorite fairy tale is Peter Pan.  The theatre was buzzing with excitement and after I said hello to some friends, we took our seats.

The cast from downtown transferred, which was exciting since Christian Borle is basically a huge TV star (with the debut of Smash) and Celia Keenan-Bolger will always have a special place in my heart because I’ve been watching her own the stage since I was 16. And lest we not forget Adam Chanler-Berat, from Next to Normal, who is just so touching you want to wait at the stage door after and squeeze him when he comes out.  Just so you can’t say that I didn’t warn you (if you didn’t already know), Peter and the Starcatcher is not a musical, but there is music in it.

Just to summarize again, Peter and the Starcatcher is the backstory to Peter Pan (the non-musical Wicked of Peter Pan, if you will). I have to say that you don’t see the roundup coming at the end but it brings the story together very nicely and it’s probably my favorite part.

The references to Peter Pan are numerous (Peter being afraid of his shadow, for instance) and it’s fun to try to catch all of them (which I don’t think I did). The set is simple and the cast make most of the scenery themselves, using ropes and chairs.

Christian Borle is still hilariously funny in the second act. He garnered cheers and applause from everyone in the house after one of his many rants that leaves him red in the face and breathless. It left us breathless too, Christian.

The show transferred nicely onto Broadway and fills the space at the Brooks Atkinson, but I’m afraid the theatre might be a tad too big. As a producer, I would have maybe waited until the Booth was free, as it would have been intimate enough and probably damn-near perfect (damn you, Other Dessert Cities! Kidding!).

Peter and the Starcatcher is for the dreamer in everyone of us who wants a night of magic. Because that’s exactly what this show provides. 

If I were going to pick two words to describe Peter and the Starcatcher, part of the current season at New York Theatre Workshop, they would be creative and adorable.  This is explicitly listed as not being a show for kids but I would beg to differ.  Though it is not only a show for kids because every adult in the theatre last Sunday also enjoyed themselves.  

I didn’t do my research prior to seeing Peter… because otherwise I would’ve known that it was based on a book of the same title and that the story was the prequel to Peter Pan.  (Do your research, kids!)  There was a tiny bit of singing, but this was, for the most part, a drama with bits of comedic relief mixed in.  

I won’t go into the plot so I don’t ruin anything, but what struck me most was the direction and incredibly creative use of the few props they had.  They used rope to create doorways and small rooms.  Adam Chanler-Berat was attention-grabbing and endearing as Peter, as was Celia Keenan-Bolger as Molly, the starcatcher.  Most of the comic relief was provided by a hilarious Christian Borle as the pirate captain.  

Peter and the Starcatcher could be compared to Wicked, but dare I say it has a lot more heart and depth?

Peter and the Starcatcher is playing at NYTW through April 3rd.  For More information click here.  

(photo via)