Peter and the Starcatcher Review

By Kayla Davis

Photos courtesy of @flhsmasques Instagram


On November 15th, I had the pleasure of seeing Fair Lawn High School’s Masques production of Peter and the Starcatcher. I came in with an open mind, not knowing what the play was about, but excited about the review opportunity. The play’s opening night was Tuesday, November 14th, and it ran  until the 18th. I also reviewed the Fall Masques play last year, and I can now officially say, they never disappoint. 


Peter and the Starcatcher is a Tony-Award winning play based on the novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, published in 2004. The novel/play essentially tells the backstory of the character Peter Pan and how he was an orphan boy who turned into the magical character we know and love. I had never heard of this play beforehand and the Masques club did a really great job of showing what it was about. 


Seeing as the play is set in 1885 and revolves around the idea of pirates, the set gave a very good first impression with the wooden crates and items resembling a ship. The props throughout the play looked very authentic and well-made. One can tell that the crew worked hard on the set and scenery to create a magical environment for this show. To continue the topic of props, throughout the play there were such creative uses of household items such as mops, fans, rope, and gloves that were brought to life. For example, in the show there were different scenes with a cat. This cat was portrayed using a mop, and surprisingly that was a perfect choice. Along with the scenery and props, the costumes were also very impressive. Each character had their own unique outfit and was different in their own way. These homemade costumes were really well done and original. The outfit choices that really stuck out to me were in the second half of the play, which  opened with mermaids, and the homemade mermaid tails were made out of cloth with handheld fans at the end. The fans were such a smart choice for the mermaid tails and I even heard murmurs around me applauding that creative choice. 


A huge part of determining how successful a play is, is the actors bringing the play to life. The cast this year was phenomenal as always. The characters were played very impressively, especially with a handful being underclassmen, as this was their first Masques production. Everyone in the cast was amazing, but there are a few members that I would like to highlight, the first two being Michal Semory (FLHS Sophomore) and Nathan Kossoy (FLHS Freshman). Considering that this was their first Masque production, these two were incredible. Michal Semory’s Molly was a strong, confident, and playful woman, exactly how the character was written. Nathan Kossoy’s Mrs. Bumbrake was clearly a fan favorite and had the audience laughing multiple times. Two FLHS Seniors that I would also like to highlight are Juliana Foster and Lucy Bohossian. Juliana Foster is the Masques president and she does an amazing job. In all of the performances I’ve seen her in, she shines through and deserves credit for being president of this successful club. Lucy Bohossian played Black Stache extremely well and was clearly another fan favorite. She intertwined the pirate’s evil ways with jokes very nicely, making the character scary, but also difficult not to enjoy. All of the cast was outstanding, including FLHS Sophomore Theo Dona as Peter, and more. The behind-the-scenes crew and music production also deserve tons of recognition because they made this show shine as well. 


Though the show has stopped running, I am so glad I got to enjoy it while I could. Ms. Gormley and Mr. Downey always do such a great job with the Masques productions, no matter what show it is. Keep your eyes and ears open to hear what’s next from this group! Applauds to FLHS Masques!


A Q&A with the club advisor and director, Ms. Gormley:


Q: Who was the hardest and easiest to cast?

A: “Casting is always challenging because we have so many talented students at FLHS! We had over 50 students audition and everyone was lovely. It takes hours of careful deliberation for me and Mr. Downey to create a cast list. We consider the entire ensemble when we cast, so it is difficult for me to say who was ‘easy’ to cast vs. who is ‘hard’ to cast.” 


Q: What determines the play chosen?

A:  “I choose plays based on my students’ strengths and what I think sounds fun or challenging! I particularly love to choose plays that will have a fun theatrical design. Peter and the Starcatcher has always been one of my favorites and I was waiting to produce it until we had the technical skills, especially in lighting and sound since it was a production heavy show.”


Q: Anything you can tell us about Masque's upcoming projects?

A:  “In the spring we are putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is such a fun romantic comedy that is one of Shakespeare's most produced plays. It will go up in May 7th- 11th.”


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