Peter and the Starcatcher

It's a tale more raucously comic and at the same time darker than the J.M. Barrie original, according to actor John Sanders, who plays Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher. The winner of five Tony Awards® in 2012, the play, coming to the Hobby Center for a short run courtesy of Gexa Energy Broadway, is a prequel to Peter Pan.

''The lost boys…are just in a terrible position in life. They're orphans and they're in this Dickensian school. They live these awful, oppressive lives and all they want to do is be a boy for a while,'' Sanders says. He describes his character Black Stache as ''a sort of shadow'' of the evil he will become. Black Stache is the predecessor to Captain Hook and ''a sad pirate at an age where pirates really aren't a thing. He's silly and bombastic and anachronistic and weird and a littler bit off his rocker, so he's just a joy to play,'' says Sanders, who played Black Stache on Broadway.

There's the flying you'd expect from Peter Pan, but done a bit differently, Sanders says. ''We're fond of saying this is the only production of Peter Pan where Peter actually flies without any strings or tables. This production has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a Broadway show, but the trick is they're all done…with ropes and buckets and sticks and plungers. It's really all about what it was like to be a kid on a playground and to find anything you can use as a sword or a doorway. What it's like to just want to be a kid.''

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information, call 800-982-2787 or visit $53.50 to $95.75.
Oct. 15-17, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 19, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 20, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2013

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing