Audiences dig a good origin story.
It’s easiest to see that with superhero movies: a radioactive spider takes a bite out of Peter Parker, who becomes Spider-Man; Wonder Woman lived on a secret Greek island and fought in World War II; Thor is tossed out of Asgard for partying too hard with ice giants. It’s fun to see big heroes before they’re all-powerful.
Leave it to CharACTers Entertainment to present the least-expected origin story ever told, when they pull back the curtain on Peter Pan’s past during Thursday’s dinner-theatre production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” at 7 p.m. at the Gadsden Museum of Art.
The show follows a cast of British lords, sailors, pirates and kids on an adventure that leads to the creation of Neverland, the loss of Captain Hook’s hand, the birth of Tinker Bell and Peter Pan’s transformation into an immortal, flying Lost Boy. Just like most those superheroes, though, Peter is radically different when the play begins.
“He doesn’t even have a name in the first act,” said David Wall, the actor playing Pan. “He doesn’t have any friends, he’s beaten down, depressed and insecure, and very different from the Peter Pan people are used to.”
Peter starts his journey as a nameless orphan, mistreated by adults and sold into the service of the sinister Bill Slank, captain of The Neverland. When the ship is used as a decoy vessel in a plan to move important British cargo, Peter meets a girl named Molly and discovers that she’s a “Starcatcher,” a sort of secret agent charged with destroying starstuff — which makes people fly, among other wonders — and keeping it…
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