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Theater Review: Roll Over To New Milford For A Barrel Of Laughs And Fun

Published: March 9, 2017

NEW MILFORD — Shiver me timbers, and aaargh! There is a swashbuckling pirate show onstage at TheatreWorks New Milford. Peter and the Starcatcher, with book by Rick Elice and music by Wayne Barker is the prequel to Peter Pan, complete with a two-fisted Black Stash and star dust.

Indentured orphans Ted (played by Karl Hinger) and Prentiss (Jack Harding) form a trio of lost boys along with the initially nameless Peter (Cullen Burling). They are captive on a ship headed somewhere with some unsavory and silly pirates.

Also aboard the ship is the lovely young Molly (Abbey Lynch), who is a fearless leader and a super swimmer. Molly’s father has left her on the pirate vessel The Wasp under the not so careful attentions of a “nanny” named Mrs Bumbrake (Bruce Tredwell).

Molly sets about to free the orphan boys, against many zany odds, as she enchants them. Her nanny becomes distracted by the adoration of a flatulent sailor named Alf (Joe Harding).

Molly’s father, Lord Leonard Aster (Dean Alexander), has charge of precious cargo. Hidden in a trunk is some serious booty. Lord Aster is carted off The Wasp and placed on The Neverland, and there is hot pursuit of the treasure, which some believe to be piles of precious gems, others are convinced that the trunk’s contents hold special powers.

Black Stash (Matt Austin) is the narcissistic, yet giddy captain of The Neverland. He is assisted by his first mate, Smee (Steve Stott). The two connive and cavort in constant pursuit of the treasure in the trunk.

Alexis Vournazos, Michael Wright, and Chris Marker round out the cast playing pirates, island tribesmen, and, yes, they all play mermaids, which is really funny.

This bustling, busy tale moves through a constant series of twists and turns met by the characters with one kooky solution after another. Pay attention to keep up!

These actors give their all in this high-energy production, to wonderful comedic effect. The lost boys are all terrifically good, especially Jack Harding, who offers up a droll antidote to his frantic fellow orphans.

Michael Wright is a scary good pirate, invoking just the right amount of fear and funny.

Matt Austin is sheer comedic genius with either a deliberate or frenzied delivery which he switches on and off.

The set is a terrific construction of the hold of the ship with various moving parts to set scenes elsewhere.

Under the direction of Alicia Dempster, the action moves at warp speed to play out all the nonsensical interactions. It is a barrel of laughs, and fun to watch.

Set sail with this band of slapstick sailors and enjoy the ride!

Performances continue for just one more weekend, with shows on Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, at 8 pm; and Sunday, March 12, at 2 pm. Tickets are $28 for adults, and $23 for students and servicemembers with ID.

Visit theatreworks.us or call 860-350-6863 for additional information or reservations.

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