Yesterday morning, I said to my dear husband, “Oh hey, I was going to look up what plays our local university is doing in the next couple months. Maybe they’ll do something good and we can go see it.”
He replied, “Mmm.”
So I looked it up and then exclaimed, “Oh! They’re doing Peter and the Starcatcher! Oh, but we missed it. Oh! No we didn’t! Do you want to see a play this weekend? Oh, wait, they’re sold out. How about Thursday? Or maybe Tuesday?”
He replied, “Yeah.”
I looked around a bit more and found tickets for Tuesday night. “Is Tuesday at 7:30 ok? Is this price ok? Are you sure this is ok?”
He replied, “Sure.”
And that is the riveting tale of how we ended up with an epically spontaneous date night. Which I am absolutely thrilled about. I’m going to repost an entry from the archives to remind you why I’m so excited about this… Enjoy!
I grew up attending plays. The first musical I ever saw was Les Miserables. I was in middle school, I believe, and my parents took me to see this beloved musical. My parents saw the original Broadway cast and my dad fell in love with the story and the musical immediately. He saw to it that his children knew the musical well at an early age. (Early enough that one of my first memories of Les Mis is being confused about the girl whose name was Corvette).
My first stage play– not a musical– was A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 10th grade. We saw it in an outdoor theater as a class trip and I was transfixed the entire time. No one had mentioned to me how Shakespeare was meant to be seen and not read. It was magical and A Midsummer Night’s Dream remains my favorite Shakespeare play. In fact, when I was a senior in college and dating a theater boy, I got up the nerve to be a fairy in that play. It was a magical experience and I loved every minute of it!
Suffice to say I have always been a fan of theater. High school, college, Broadway, Shakespeare, New York, London, I love it all. I’ve been extremely blessed to see many things on stage (Les Miserables I’ve seen 6 times, for example). This isn’t to brag so much as it is to set up the next thing I’m about to say:
Peter and the Starcatcher is the second best thing I have ever seen on stage.
It ranks below Les Miserables, but only barely. Guys, I’ve seen Shakespeare plays performed in the Globe Theater. And don’t get me wrong: they were phenomenal. But if I had to chose between seeing that again and seeing Peter and the Starcatcher again… I’d have to go with Peter. (Unless the trip to London was the point of seeing Shakespeare… Because I really miss London. But that’s another story for another time).
I have seen this play twice now: once from the 10th row on Broadway and once from the nosebleed seats in Dallas. Both times, I laughed out loud more than once and was almost in tears by the end. It perfectly captures the spirit of Peter Pan without beating you over the head with references and allusions. It allows for talented actors to ad-lib, but not to the point where a new set of actors completely changes everything. The stage and props are sparse and creatively used, the writing to quick, clever, and well-done, and the whole story is simply brilliant.
After seeing the play this time, I really wanted to have the script so I could read through it and then just have a place to turn to when I needed to recite my favorite quotes from the play. I noticed they were selling the annotated script at the merchandise table, but I also realized my dear husband and I needed groceries for the week… I decided perhaps I should wait until we got home and add it to my Christmas list.
That was Friday evening. Monday afternoon I came home from a long day at work and checked our mailbox. We received a package from Amazon and I had no idea where it came from. When I opened it up, I gasped with glee:
Mom, who took my dear husband and I to the play in the first place, bought the book for us and sent it to our apartment. I was so excited! She said she was feeling spontaneous, a feeling she rarely gets, and I felt even more privileged to be the recipient of her spontaneity.
I flipped through the book and was even more impressed by what I saw: photos of the original cast, the script, and it is annotated by Rick Elice, Dave Barry, and Ridley Pearson, the creators of this story and play. It is marvelous!
I’ll share with you a few of my favorite quotes (since I know have the ability to do that!):
Molly, on describing what her spinster-hood would look like: “I’ll stay a spinster and pin my hair back and volunteer weekends at hospital. And I will love words for their own sake, like ‘hyacinth’ and ‘Piccadilly’ and ‘onyx.’ And I’ll have a good old dog, and think what I like, and be part of a different sort of family, with friends, you know?– who understand that things are only worth what you’re willing to give up for them.” (page 127).
Narrator Alf, after Molly and Lord Aster speak to each other in Dodo: “Known for its greedy appetite, slothful pace and sense of entitlement, the dodo was fearless of people and faced no real competition– an eerie mirror of the British Empire at its colonial zenith. Of course, those same traits were responsible for the dodo’s extinction– an eerie mirror of the British Empire after its colonial zenith– but thereby hangs another tale.” (page 15)
Suffice to say, I highly recommend this play. This was my adventure in September: the opportunity the see one of my favorite plays, to remember why I fell in love with it in January, and to now have the script to revisit whenever I want. This was certainly an adventure!