Listing towards the tradition of children’s pantomime, Synetic’s The Adventures of Peter Pan (★★★) is largely for the small fry in your life. The good news is that, unlike most of the dross staged for children, this production showcases two things all kids should see: creative theater on a budget and exciting dance. It’s a testament to the fact that live entertainment does not have to come in fancy, expensive packaging.
Kids will be enthralled by this shoestring and ceiling wax production because it has imagination and enthusiasm. The evening is a fun adventure set to evocative music, easy dialogue, a bit of swaggery humor courtesy of Captain Hook, and an abundance of high-energy dance and movement.
Peter Pan — Photo: Johnny Shryock
In the title role, Alex Mills is a happy, spectacularly fit Peter, carrying the production with his unstoppable exuberance and boyish charisma. Mills is an exciting dancer and his several pas de deux with Shadow, danced well by Zana Gankhuyag, are gorgeously fun and full of enthralling muscularity.
Another standout here is Kathy Gordon as Wendy Darling, the big sister who craves adventure, just not at the cost of her younger sibling’s safety. Miming and dancing Tinkerbell, Ana Tsikurishvili is obviously very much at home with her mother Irina’s signature moves, but brings her own distinct charisma to the capricious fairy, making her a true crowd-pleaser.
As Captain Hook, Ryan Sellers provides a bit of pirate eye-candy, even if the panto bluster and jokes never quite fit. This isn’t Broadway, but it is a grand adventure evoked with joy and enthusiasm.
To November 19 at Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell Street in Arlington, Va. Tickets are $15 to $75. Call 866-811-4111 or visit synetictheater.org.
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