OMG! What a mess!
First of all let me preface all my remarks with, “I love SRT.” The Summer Rep is cast with talented young people with starry ambitions… and they usually bring it to whatever productions they are cast in. But this season already has me filled with doubt. The cast is young – really young – and so instead of bringing IT, they bring a sophmore ken to all the roles they play. Peter Pan was filled with hesitancy and chaos on stage. I kept hoping the actors would rally but alas….
The minimalist Lost Boys set was an awkward intriguing dance between the sort-of-looked-like a pirate ship, bars, and cross pieces, planes of warped wood, and long hanging silks which were not used much except as dangling ornaments, The costumes did nothing to enhance the difference between the two groups. The Lost Boys looked like misplaced Pirates. The whole thing just did not work together.
Although the show was touted as “Not the Musical”, there actually was music which was pre-recorded and blasted at an antagonizing volume. The theatre itself was too cool on a breezy night. You could both hear and feel the whirring of the air conditioning throughout the entire show.
And now for the good points: The standouts were The Shadow, played by the fabulous Ricco Fajardo, black suited with black face, and Tinkerbell, also in black suit and face, beautifully played by Alexandra Cummins. Both of these players were adept and graceful on the silks and really saved the show in their final duet performance dangling above the stage.
Casting the Pirates as women is a great idea! Why not capitalize more on their female assets in costuming? Captain Hook, played by Claire Perry, looked beautiful, but what did she do? Smee, played by Vanessa Gibens, was delightful! I found myself watching her business with the corkscrew throughout many of the scenes. Father was forcefully played by Brandon Larson, who also donned the Crocodile suit, Peter Pan and Wendy were respectively played by Adam Burkholder and Skye Bronfenbrenner.
I sympathize with director James Newman’s vision for this show. I could see where he wanted to go and just couldn’t get there. If you’re going to use silks instead of the traditional flying apparatus typically used in the production of Peter Pan, you need players who can feel at ease dangling up in the air and who are acrobatic enough to do some tricks… Otherwise, it’s just a waste of some beautiful material. I honestly hope for better performances on the next show. I won’t give up on SRT…. See you at Dangerous Liaisons with Vampires (!) no less.
SRT performances run June 16 through August 7. See you there!
Dangerous Liaisons with Vampires
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Peter Pan (not the musical)
The Full Monty
Santa Rosa Junior College
Summer Repertory Theatre