“Peter and the Starcatcher"

The reviews are in for TheatreUNCA and Asheville Community Theatre’s co-production of Peter and the Starcatcher—it’s a hit!

“The show is a wonder of motion and energy,” according to Mountain Xpress film reviewer Jeff Messer. “You feel like you are on a ship at sea, a tropical island, afloat on the ocean and in a deep cavern with a mystical mermaid, even though your eyes inform you otherwise. It is a journey of the imagination, pulled off with supreme creativity.”

Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the novel by Dave Barry, is the swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan. The story revolves around a brave young girl, a penniless orphan, pirates, mermaids, and a trunk filled with “starstuff.” Four UNC Asheville students are performing onstage in the cast: Justin Day, playing the Lost Boy named Prentiss; Lea Gilbert and Missy Sullivan in a variety of ensemble roles; and Julian Gonzalez as an orphan named Ted.

A number of students are working behind the scenes in the crew: Adrian Almodovar, Caroline Badgett, Rebecca Boyce, Makayla Champion, Caroline Dischell, Serena Dotson-Smith, Rachel Evensen, Shana Franklin, Bjorn Goller-Hagood, Mo Hakala, Connor Harmsworth, Lily Hinson, Sabrina Ho, Isaiah Krider, Bryan Marks, Amanda McMillen, Marcia Middleton, Jacob Pond, Sean Preston, Maxwell Roberts, Kaia Rubin, Julia Sacco, Ginny Shafer, Addy Starbird, Tomtom Tomkins and Cherokee Watko. UNC Asheville alumni Andi Espenshade, Carina Lopez (who is now Asheville Community Theatre’s costume manager) and Jill Summers are also on the crew.

Asheville Citizen-Times reviewer Bruce Steele praised the show’s imaginative set and props that turned the UNC Asheville Belk Theatre’s theater-in-the-round stage into a pirate ship, a mermaid’s cave, and other places in “the land of roiling imagination.”

“Lighting designer Rob Bowen [UNC Asheville chair and professor of drama] keeps up with action and creates the illusion of surroundings where there are none,” Steele wrote.

Peter and the Starcatcher runs through April 15. For tickets, visit the Asheville Community Theatre website.