Most of us know Dave Barry as a good-natured newspaper columnist who pokes fun at the weird, wacky and downright senseless aspects of American life. But fewer may know that Barry is also a children’s book author, and quite a successful one at that.
His 2004 collaboration with Ridley Pearson, Peter & The Starcatcher, launched a successful franchise that includes three additional books and a new musical version, currently being staged by Greenville Little Theater.
The stage version of Peter & The Starcatcher, adapted by Tony-award-winning writer and actor Rick Elice, serves as a prequel to Peter Pan, offering a story follows an orphan named Peter and his best friend Molly as they battle pirates and thieves to keep a magical secret safe.
The performance includes appearances by a familiar-looking pirate named Black Stache, a bird named Tinker Bell, and a sinister crocodile, but otherwise introduces a whole new cast of characters to the Peter Pan story.
“It’s such a unique work,” says the Little Theatres Artistic Director Allen McCalla. “It caught my eye when it was on Broadway, and it was just magical,” McCalla says. “Our theater likes to appeal to a broad spectrum, and anything that people feel like they can bring their kids and grandkids to, that’s just a win-win.”
McCalla says that part of the appeal of Peter & The Starcatcher is that it answers questions about a character that’s ingrained in our culture.
“How did Peter become that boy who could fly, and the boy who wouldn’t grow up?,” he says. “How did Captain Hook lose his hand? Why is that crocodile chasing him, how did that clock get inside him? It ties everything in; it sets it all up.”
Peter & The Starcatcher
Greenville Little Theater
March 3-4, 9-11 at 8 p.m., and March 5 & 12 at 3 p.m.