This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy performed their second show of the year. Just three weeks after To Kill A Mockingbird, they kept the shows rolling with Peter and the Starcatcher. Unlike the last production, this show was done at Cathedral Prep. This unique comedic play had the crowd laughing all through the night. It proved to be very special and allowed the actors to showcase their versatile, all-around talents.
This unorthodox show is presumptively the prequel to Peter Pan. It’s extremely complex plot revolves around an abused orphan boy (Dominic Montefiori ’18) who is aboard a ship in 1885 while being transported to Queen Victoria of Britain. He speaks frequently of his hatred for grown-ups. Also aboard the ship is Molly Aster (Mary Grace Kelly ’21), a strong-willed, defiant girl who is on a mission to safely deliver a trunk filled with “starstuff” to the queen. Starstuff is later revealed to be a magical substance that has the ability to give anyone what they want.
On a separate, competing ship is Molly’s father, Lord Aster (James Proper ’18). Unknown to Lord Aster, the ship has been taken over by pirates. The leader is found to be Blackstache (Nick Carneval ’18). Although filled with evil aspirations, Blackstache is very ineffective in getting his way. Blackstache’s ship, the Wasp, begins to pursue the other ship, the Neverland, in hopes of obtaining treasure.
As the ships make contact, the members of each are forced to jump to sea. Some people die, while others make it alive to a nearby island. Natives of the island are at first very violent and ruthless towards the English; however, the children escape. All the while, Blackstache and his right hand man, Smee (Hannah Harvey ’19), are searching for the treasure. The pirates finally meet the children face to face and the orphan boy gives up the treasure to save Molly. As the pirates open the chest, they find that nothing remains in it. Molly explains that the starstuff dissolved into the water. The magical reaction has given the orphan eternal youth, just as he’s always wanted. He is given the name Peter and stays on the island forever. The natives come to appreciate Peter and all ends well.
Peter, portrayed by Dominic Montefiori, spoke of his experience saying, “This show was one of the hardest plays Prep and Villa has put on, but it was so extremely fun because of the imagination needed to create this show.”
Nick Carneval, playing Blackstache, also commented, “It was an awesome opportunity to be able to work with a cast of long time thespians as well as kids who are just getting started. It was unique to be able to portray a cool origin story for the iconic character [Peter Pan] that people, no matter what their age, have known and loved for years.”
As the plot develops, many keen in on the noticeable parallels to Peter Pan. This show indirectly explains, in depth, how the story of Peter Pan came to be. Many of the cast members acted as props, which added another comedic, unique element to the show. The cast members also made use of improvisational timing and hilarious dialogue. It really showed how the actors and audience members could both reach the same spot in each other’s imagination with nothing but the space in between them.