'Starcatcher' targets spring opening
Producers of “Peter Pan” stage prequel “Peter and the Starcatcher” have pulled the trigger on a Broadway transfer, announcing a spring bow on the Main Stem.Play, adapted by Rick Elice (“Jersey Boys”) from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, has been a rumored contender for the Rialto since its well-reviewed bow earlier this year at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop. Show could be the first of the two Rialto outings this season with ties to Disney Theatrical Prods.: “Newsies,” the legit adaptation of the 1992 movie musical, also is circling a potential Broadway berth following a well-received world preem at the Paper Mill Playhouse last month. Disney Theatrical, which owns the underlying rights to “Peter” and has been closely involved in its development, has licensed the title to Broadway producers Nancy Nagel Gibbs and Greg Schaffert, both on the producing of 2005 outing “All Shook Up.” For the Rialto staging, Disney will be credited as a producer with the right to a vote in major creative decisions. Helmed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, “Peter” follows the origin story of Peter Pan and his enduring enmity with Captain Hook. Prior to its run at NYTW, the show was developed in a early lab production at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2007 and subsequently as part of the Page to Stage series at the La Jolla Playhouse. Casting for the Broadway incarnation has not been nailed down. The Off Broadway version starred Adam Chanler-Berat (“Next to Normal”) as Peter, Celia Keenan-Bolger as his love interest and Christian Borle as Peter’s pirate nemesis. Borle’s current gig as one of the stars of upcoming NBC skein “Smash” seems likely to complicate any involvement in the upcoming version of “Peter.” On Broadway “Peter” could prove a tough sell, as a non-musical offering with a relatively large cast of 13 and, based on the Off Broadway incarnation, no star casting. On the other hand, “Peter” comes to the Main Stem after earning the thumbs-up from several Gotham critics, and it also taps into the hidden backstory of a well-known all-ages tale, a la megahit “Wicked.” Rialto design team reunites Off Broadway collaborators Wayne Barker (music), Steven Hoggett (movement), Donyale Werle (set), Paloma Young (costumes), Jeff Croiter (lights) and Darron L. West (sound). Broadway venue and exact dates remain to be announced.