“Peter and the Starcatcher” catches audience laughter

While many may have seen the classic movie, “Peter Pan,” not many know the story behind the boy and his troupe of adventurers on Neverland. “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Diamond Bar drama’s fall play, brings this backstory to life with humor, drama and a dash of romance.

The play opens with a reminder for the audience to silence their phones, something that would be unremarkable if not for the fact that the speaker had a British accent and, to my surprise, so did everyone else on the cast. The accents were all excellent, though they made it slightly difficult to understand some of the quicker lines of dialogue.

I was quickly immersed in the story of Molly, her father and the three orphan children all traveling to Mollusk Island. Although it took me a while to figure out because of some initial dialogue confusion, Molly and her father are traveling on separate ships to the island on a mission for the Queen of England, while the orphans are going to the same island to serve the king there.

Nevertheless, the story was extremely enjoyable,  with sudden plot twists keeping me engaged. There was also romance mixed in, both of a humorous type—between Mrs. Bumbrake, Molly’s nanny and a shiphand, Alf—and a more dramatic, serious one that I won’t mention to avoid a spoiler. 

The dramatic elements of the play were accentuated by impressive sound and lighting, both of which served not only to improve scenes but to add on to them. In fact, some characters would hardly have existed without them. For example, the crocodile was only a pair of eyes and a mouth during the play, but it came to life because of the roaring sounds and lighting used.

Another non-acting aspect of the play that I found impressive were the props. The stage looks like a realistic ship deck and when the time came for the switch at intermission, the new props were even more impressive. The beautiful costumes of the actors also add to the atmosphere, with perfect makeup to top it all off.

As for the actors, everyone exceeded my expectations. However, some actors stood out above the others. For instance, Allison Santigrossi brought such light-hearted humor to the stage through her portrayal of Smee and even had a small singing solo with the ukulele, which may have been one of my favorite moments of the show.

A great duo was Stella Craine and Quinn Mendoza, who played father and son, the royalty of Mollusk Island. They, too, had hilarious lines, and more impressive than their delivery was their ability to keep a straight face and stay in character despite some of the absolutely ludicrous things they had to say.

With all aspects considered, Peter and the Starcatcher is an excellent play, from the acting to the music and beyond, and I would highly recommend giving it a watch on Nov. 1 or 2.