Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron

Peter and the Starcatcher
Dobama Theatre
Review by Mark Horning

Christopher Bohan, Andrew Gorell, Brett Dicello,
Robert Ellis, Tim Keo, Nathan A. Lilly,
and Johnathon L. Jackson

Photo by Steve Wagner Photography
It's day four of winter break and the children are bored. In-laws and out-laws have invaded your home like a swarm of hungry locust. Your hubby has taken over the kitchen (and every pot and pan) trying to recreate a childhood memory. How do you keep this hoard of invaders entertained and happy? Why not take them all out for an evening of live theater? Currently, Dobama Theatre is staging the delightful Peter and the Starcatcher (written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker) through December 31, 2016. The show is directed by Melissa Therese Crum and is based on Artistic Director Nathan Motta's production originally presented in 2015.

In this prequel to Peter Pan, an unnamed orphan (Luke Wehner) and his two friends Prentiss (Luke Brett) and Ted (Shaun O'Neill) are forced to join the crew on the ship Neverland. Unbeknownst to them, the rest of the crew is composed of a group of pirates led by the notorious Black Stache (Christopher Bohan) and his first mate Smee (Andrew Gorell). On board the ship is Molly (Molly Israel), the daughter of Lord Aster (Jason Leupold) who is on another ship, The Wasp. Accompanying Molly is her Nanny Mrs. Bumbrake (James Rankin). It is Molly's job to guard a special chest that belongs to the queen and is full of "starstuff," a special magical powder that when exposed to any living thing allows him or her to become what they always dreamed of being.

After being shipwrecked on Mollusk Island a three way battle takes place between the Lost Boys, the cannibal natives (The Mollusks) and the pirates. Eventually, the unnamed orphan becomes Peter (later Peter Pan), Black Stache becomes Captain Hook, and Molly is to someday be the mother of Wendy, Michael and John.

From the moment the audience enters the theater and interacts with the pirates to the final bow, this is a solid night of fast-paced entertainment. While geared as a children's play (recommended for children 6 and older), there are more than enough mild adult situations to keep it interesting for the grownups.

Luke Wehner presents a wonderful Peter, interacting quite well with Molly Israel as Molly. The true scene stealers are Christopher Bohan as Black Stache and Andrew Gorell as Smee, who take command of the stage with their larger than life presence. In the second act there is an outrageously funny chorus line number with the male ensemble dressed as mermaids. The entire show is jam-packed with excitement that will grab and hold the attention of youngsters and adults alike.

This well-seasoned cast gives it their all to entertain.

If the holidays have you at wit's end and you need a break from it all, this show is the perfect tonic. Everyone in the family will love it, no matter what their age or degree of sophistication.

Peter and the Starcatcher, through December 31, 2016, at Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH. Ticket prices range from $20 to $35. Call 216-932-3396 or visit

Cast: Luke Wehner+, Molly Israel+, Christopher Bohan*, Andrew Gorell*, Luke Brett+ , Brett DiCello+ , Robert Ellis*, Johnathon L. Jackson+ , Tim Keo+ , Jason Leupold+, Nathan A. Lilly+, Shaun O'Neill+, and James Rankin+.

Creative: Set Design: Aaron Benson, Lighting: Marcus Dana, Sound: Richard Ingraham, Costumes: Tesia Dugan Benson, Props: Benson Theatricals, Stage Manager: Megan Mingus*

* denotes member of Actors' Equity Association

+ denotes Equity Membership candidate

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