Posted on: January 15, 2014
I spent the early part of my life growing up in New Jersey. I was raised in Freehold, which located in the central part of the state and is best known for also being the hometown of Bruce Springsteen. One great thing about Freehold is its close proximity to New York. Needless to say, I’ve been to New York a lot. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing quite a few shows on Broadway. Whenever I see a show, I like to keep it simple. What I mean by that is: I really just want to be entertained. Yes, I pay attention to the set, the costumes, the acting and the story. But really, I just want to have a good time and walk out of the theater happier than I did when I walked in.
As a Gammage Goer, I have the unique opportunity to watch some of the performances that are in Tempe this season. I’ve really liked most of the shows I’ve seen thus far. Last night, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER opened at ASU Gammage and will be running through January 19th. I was really excited when I was assigned to see this show. I’ve always been a big fan of Peter Pan. It was – and still is – one of my favorite rides at Disney World (that’s the one in Orlando), I was obsessed with Hook when that movie came out and to this day, I can only eat Peter Pan Peanut Butter.
For those who don’t know, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is based on the novel, Peter and the Starcatchers, co-written by Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist Dave Barry, along with Ridley Pearson. It’s a prequel to the story of Peter Pan and covers everything from where Peter came from, how he got his name, the Lost Boys, Neverland, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. The show exceeded my expectations and is by far the best performance I’ve seen at ASU Gammage.
This morning, I drove back to the theater and met Edward Tournier and Lee Zarrett. Both are actors currently starring in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Edward, who’s from Boston, plays Ted, one of the Lost Boys. Lee is from New York City and he plays Fighting Prawn, a character that may be new to some of you.
It wasn’t until high school that Lee really caught the acting bug. He went to see a friend of his that was performing in Six Degrees of Separation. It was then he realized that he wanted to be an actor. After high school, he went to college, graduating from Syracuse University. PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is Lee’s fourth time in Tempe, having toured with previous shows that have found their way to Arizona. “I love Tempe and ASU Gammage. It’s such a great theatre with a lot of history since it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,” he said.
On the other hand, Edward had been acting in shows since he was ten years old, when he performed in about three per year. Coincidently, his first ever performance was as a Lost Boy in a production of Peter Pan. He credits the Sound of Music and Pippin as being his inspirations and what made him want to become an actor. Edward went on to Boston University, where he graduated in theatre.
If you’re thinking about the show, I highly recommend it. It’s considered a “grownup’s prequel to Peter Pan” so don’t think that this is just a kid’s performance because it isn’t.
For more information about Tempe events and shows at ASU Gammage, visit our website or you can call 800-283-6734.
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