Reviewed by Sally Jo Osborne, February 25, 2014
3 Stars Out Of 4
Director/Writer, Andrew Park states, “Just like Peter Pan himself, his story never grows old. It’s a perfect coming of age story that speaks to the divide between youth and adulthood. Return of Neverland reminds us to keep a little magic in our hearts even as we age.”
I’m hooked on Hook…always have been! What a swashbuckling good time we had Sunday afternoon at Quest’s delightful new musical The People’s Return of Neverland a sequel to Peter Pan! This show’s focus is on Jane, Wendy’s now teenage daughter. You remember Wendy? Peter Pan had many adventures and explorations long ago with her. Wendy is married and dowdy now while her lovely daughter Jane is growing up and discovering her inner and outer beauty. Along the way she finds some hidden treasures from long ago up in the attic as well as some well kept deep dark secrets. This show explores the magic of being ageless and also not being afraid to age.
The set is simple and yet serves many scenes. The simple 5 piece Pirate Band blends in nicely and instruments adorn the stage throughout the show as well. There are some awesome swordfights and mischievous mermaids and I know it kind of sounds a little circus like and well it is just a brawling good time. Save the fairies!
The talent that shines in this little Blue theatre is truly impressive. The band of playful Pirates are: Nate Buursma, David Hathway, Becca Hess, Nathaniel Niemi & Kristi Szczepanek; Jane Molly LeCaptain, sings beautifully and is quite enchanting. Hook/Father Jason Bowen steals the show not on purpose I don’t think, but he is just that good! His laugh is contagious and his comedic timing is right on as well as his fabulous singing voice! Smee Tommy Bullington is Hook’s right hand, pain in the you know what, and is fabulously entertaining. Peter Pan Ryan Gaffney played the part well a little scary hyper as I suppose Peter would be unless you’re Kathy Rigby. Jamy Gillespie is the meticulous matronly mother and the charming John Ruhaak is Mr. Leatherbee. Oh, and not to forget about the handsome and talented Prince David Hathaway.
If you are up for a good time go see this show, and did I mention that it is free? Yes free! There are still good things in life that are free and Quest Theatre is one of them. Of course, donations are appreciated.
Return of Neverland runs through March 30, 2014
At The BLUE THEATER, 1609 W. Gregory, Chicago, IL 60640