Zach Colonna, Emma Rosenthal, Aaron Kirby and Caleb Donahoe in Peter and the Starcatcher at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace
Drury Lane finds the starstuff in the whimsical Peter Pan prequel.
Two couples sitting behind me at Drury Lane's first local production of Peter and the Starcatcher were having a disagreement at intermission. "It's so dumb!" said one of the men. "But it's so clever!" one of the women replied.
The truth, of course, is they were both right. Much of the humor in the 2012 play, adapted from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter Pan prequel, is unabashedly, dad-joke level dumb. And it's whip smart in its execution of that goofy aesthetic.
William Osetek's staging hews close to the Broadway original (at least as seen in the touring production). That's no knock—so much of the play's magic is baked into its music and very specific physicality, with actors flashing in and out of character to offer a bit of narration or temporarily portray a door or a ship's bow, that it's hard to imagine going in much of a different direction.
More to the point, Osetek and his fine cast execute it to a T. Newcomer Caleb Donahoe is winningly energetic as the unnamed boy who becomes Peter Pan; Emma Rosenthal, as the overachieving, uptight Molly, is a bit by the book, but that may just be the role. And speaking of roles, there's no question which one gets to run away with the show: the flamboyantly villainous Black Stache. The future Captain Hook is as overconfident as he is inept, and the thoroughly charming Matt Mueller makes a meal of him. Give that man a hand.
Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace. By Rick Elice. Directed by William Osetek. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mins; one intermission.