"Peter/Wendy" - by Jeremy Bloom - Sterling Community Theatre (Sterling, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: Chris Wiley as “Smee" with Lindsay Sousa as “Hook” menacing “The Tiger Lily” played by Isabel Coviello in "PETER/WENDY" by Jeremy Bloom, at Sterling Community Theatre in Sterling, MAthrough January 21, 2024Photo Credit: Suzanne Vantre)


By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

I'm youth. I'm joy. I'm the little bird that has broken out of the egg. James Hook - thou not wholly unheroic figure, farewell. To die, well, really is the greatest adventure."

                                                                                      - ("Peter") / Jeremy Bloom

Sterling Community Theatre 

Presents Jeremy Bloom's

"PETER/WENDY"

Written by Jeremy Bloom

Directed by Kaci Kneeland

Produced by Robert Hill

Cast Includes: Aiden Hughes as “Peter Pan”; Kylan Tremblay as “Wendy Darling”; James Cannon as “Lost Boy”; Lilly Thomann as “Mermaid”; Isabel Coviello as “The Tiger Lily”; Almira Mertol as “Tinker Bell”; Lindsay Sousa as “Mrs. Darling/Hook”; Chris Wiley as “Mr. Darling/Smee”; Ensemble: Dan Burns, Julia Feeley (Tinkerbell's voice and u/s), Justin Gelinas, Charly Heinrich, Ignatius Kottenstette, Brian Kubicek, Delaney Rezac, Peter Russo, Nikko Taylor, Joven Trembley.

All shows are performed in the Parish Hall of the First Church in Sterling, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling, MA 01564 

Performances:

January 19 & 20, 2024 at 7:00pm 

January 21, 2024 at 2:00pm

TICKETS:

For all questions regarding tickets please send an email to scttickets@gmail.com 

https://www.sterlingtheatre.com/tickets

COVID 19 PROTOCOLS

Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

If you are a fan of the timeless tale "Peter Pan," then the latest offering from Sterling Community Theatre (SCT), "PETER/WENDY," is the journey to Neverland that presents an enjoyable new perspective on the classic story filled with fantasy and adventure.

The play was first performed in 2012 and later published in 2014 and, unfolding in one act, the story is re-told in compendious fashion by author Jeremy Bloom, with the latest SCT staging ably directed by Kaci Kneeland.

Dimly lit, which is intentional, "PETER/WENDY" has almost a 'campfire story' quality to it in there is an amusing and infectious playfulness to the story that retains that quality from beginning to end. 

The cast all share in the narration of the piece and, through their combined effort, easily bring to life the imaginative story of the boy from Neverland, Peter (Aiden Hughes), who refuses to age and his dear friend, Wendy (Kylan Tremblay) who, almost reluctantly, goes on an adventure with him.

(Photo: Aiden Hughes as “Peter Pan” sits with Kylan Tremblay as “Wendy Darling” in a scene from "PETER/WENDY" by Jeremy Bloom, now playing at Sterling Community Theatre in Sterling, MA through January 21, 2024Photo Credit: Suzanne Vantre)

Bloom's script, while breaking the story down to its mere 'bullet points,' also contains a very surreal, ethereal approach to how the original 1904 story "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" by Sir James Matthew Barrie, is conveyed.

Concepts explored imaginatively in "PETER/WENDY" include those of family, love, companionship, camaraderie, integrity, loyalty and, most of all, friendship, are explored in such a very brief timeframe. 

Yet, Bloom seems to want us to speculate more on the contrast and chasm created by young Peter, who is defiant about growing up even when offered the opportunity in the story to become more like Wendy who ages naturally into adulthood.

(Photo: Chris Wiley as “Smee" stands by Lindsay Sousa as “Hook” menacing “The Tiger Lily” played by Isabel Coviello in a scene from "PETER/WENDY" by Jeremy Bloom, now playing at Sterling Community Theatre in Sterling, MAthrough January 21, 2024Photo Credit: Suzanne Vantre)

The SCT production is set on a raised platform with the audience seated on three sides, 

On the sparsely furnished platform, there is a large beautiful bedroom window set along the back wall of what is presumably Wendy's bedroom, an homage to the set from the classic Jerome Robbins' musical adaptation "Peter Pan." 

Otherwise, the show uses only minimal set pieces (a bed, several lamps and a few trunks and chests), focusing on the concept of everyone cast sharing in telling the story, all while wearing pajamas and using mostly children's play costumes pulled out of a trunk along with child toys as props.

The SCT production of "PETER/WENDY" has a clear vision by its director and is executed well by the entire cast.

Playing Wendy's parents are aptly portrayed by Lindsay Sousa, doubling as both loving "Mrs. Darling" and the villainous "Hook;" and Chris Wiley who plays stout businessman "Mr. Darling" and Hook's bumbling-but-ever-faithful sidekick, "Smee."

Isabel Coviello embodies the tough, earthy persona of “The Tiger Lily” while Almira Mertol pantomimes Peter's ever faithful fairy, “Tinker Bell,” with actress Julia Feeley performing the voice of the character.

(Photo: The CAST of Jeremy Bloom's "PETER/WENDY" at Sterling Community Theatre in Sterling, MAnow playing through January 21, 2024Photo Credit: Suzanne Vantre)

A slight drawback of the production came in the form of sound, as some cast rushed their lines while others either required to project more or, more likely, would have benefitted from additional augmentation in order to be better heard.

Some people might characterize the show as a "kids show" yet Bloom's material is a bit more elevated as was the reverent staging by Kneeland.

The entire presentation is enjoyable and well delivered by the predominantly young cast.

SCT's "PETER/WENDY" continues in Sterling until January 21st and, propelled by "happy thoughts," the charming story may well feel, to some, like that nice, warm virtual hug very much needed during this harsh, cold winter. 

Approximately 50 minutes with no intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 

@MetrmagReviews

@Theatre_Critics 

ABOUT THE SHOW

In this lyrical, atmospheric interpretation of "Peter Pan," Jeremy Bloom strips the familiar story down to its emotional essence. Peter lures Wendy away from her nursery to the magical world of Neverland, where she joins his adventures with Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily, and the menacing Captain Hook. A low-tech, inventive adaptation that pays homage to the darker themes of J. M. Barrie's original, "PETER/WENDY" will mesmerize audiences of all ages. 

ABOUT STERLING COMMUNITY THEATRE (SCT)

STERLING COMMUNITY THEATRE (SCT) strives to provide an outreach of fellowship and cultural enrichment, centered on family and community, by facilitating high quality theatre arts experiences within the greater Sterling community. SCT seeks to cultivate an appreciation of the performing arts by offering live performances, educating through experience, participating in community activities, and through cooperation with other local performing arts groups and The First Church of Sterling. SCT strives to offer a range of challenging, creative opportunities that inspire and allow people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in productions, whether on stage or behind the scenes. Every year SCT aims to experience growth by expanding participation, encouraging volunteering, and increasing their audience and involvement within the community. 

STERLING COMMUNITY THEATRE

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box # 1332

Sterling, MA 01564

https://www.sterlingtheatre.com/contactus

www.sterlingtheatre.com