"Witch Hunt" Drama Boise, USA at the Matrix Theatre
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Peter and the Starcatcher, the multiple Tony Award-winning show that The New York Times called "the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades," is the swashbuckling, madcap prequel to Peter Pan. A dozen actors play more than 100 characters, combining their acting talent with ingenious stagecraft and an imaginative story to reveal the origins of "the boy who wouldn't grow up." The musical play takes a hilarious romp through the Neverland you never knew in an action-packed adventure that brings pirates, orphans and secret agents of the Queen together on the high seas. Based on the bestselling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), Peter and the Starcatcher boasts an all-star creative team and weaves an enchanting tale that appeals to both adults and kids. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from JMJr
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For the most part I enjoyed this production although the script lacked focus...was it a show about homophobia, revenge, family vendettas, pediphilia, the mob mentality, or political infighting and backstabbing? It would have been more successful if it would have picked one and stuck to it...instead you get a mish-mosh of themes adding up to not much of anything. The director keeps things moving along at a brisk pace which is a good thing because the script is written like a film script where there are many very short scenes ...instead of fewer more substantial scenes. The acting is uneven ...some of the performers are excellent but there are a few who are overly melodramatic...so much so you expect to hear an organ chord for emphasis. Had that style of acting been incorporated across the board with all the actors it would have worked as a comment on the times and as a period piece using the accepted mannerism of the time... but since it wasn't it is merely a distraction. Oddly enough the character of the gay uncle which could have easily been over done is one of the most subtle and believable performances in the show. Cameron Mitchell Jr. gives a wonderfully matter-of-fact, understated portrayal as Uncle Herbert...sucessfully warding off the urge most actors would have had to chew the scenery!
Quotes & Highlights
- To read about the real events and people that inspired the play, click here.
- "The cast is proficient, with Seamus Dever's haunted voice of sanity and Melissa Kite's betrayed spouse especially fine." --Los Angeles Times
- "Gene Franklin Smith’s character-driven drama about gay persecution in the ’50s avoids politically correct preachiness, and instead conveys a powerful message through crackling stagecraft...Remarkably well cast..." --LA Weekly
- "Boise, USA is a powerful thought-provoking play, written with true grit. Directed with gut-wrenching reality, and performed by a remarkably strong cast, the audience is transfixed throughout." --Tolucan Times
- "Boise, USA has particular resonancy for those in the audience who can recall pre-Stonewall days. It is a play that every young gay person should see." --Stage Scene LA
Inspired by actual events, the play begins on Halloween night, 1955, in quiet, respectable Boise, Idaho, when the shocking arrests of three men for "lewd and lascivious conduct" with three teenage boys set off a notorious "witch hunt" to purge the city of all suspected homosexuals. Family loyalties are divided, pitting brother against brother, father against son. What happened back then in Boise could happen again, anywhere, anytime--even now.
This world premiere is presented by the Salem K Theatre Company, producers of the critically acclaimed Snake in the Grass and Poor Beast in the Rain.
Arturo Castillo (director) is a graduate of the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. He has directed theatrical productions all over Europe, including London, Madrid, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Prague, Milan and Rome. He was a co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Novel Stages in Philadelphia, also serving on the Pennsylvania State Arts Council as a theatre panelist as well as on the Arts in Education panel. While in Los Angeles he has directed theatre and film, including Theresa Rebeck's Loose Knit; Bishop and Fuller's Loveplay; Richard Devin’s My Mother's Coming; and Wallace Shawn’s one-man tour de force The Fever. Castillo co-wrote, produced and directed the independent film "F64."
Gene Franklin Smith (playwright) apprenticed playwriting with F.D. Reeve and Tony Connor at Wesleyan University, where his first play, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, was produced at the Second Stage Theatre. He moved to New York City, where several of his plays received full productions and staged readings, including Life Beneath the Roses (Quaigh Theatre and TOMI Theatre), Adults in Love (Lone Wolf Theatre) and Created Equal (John Houseman II Theatre). Life Beneath the Roses has also been produced regionally at the Cincinnati Playhouse (FutureFest Finalist), University of Nebraska-Kearney, Theatre Americana (winner, David James Ellis Memorial Award for Best Play 1992-93) and the Bitter Truth Theatre. In 1997, his play Rubicon had its world premiere at the Coast Playhouse. In 1998, Smith founded the Write Act Repertory Company in Hollywood and served as Artistic Director for five years. During his tenure, three of his plays were produced: Devil's Consort; Transports of the Heart (co-written with Clyde Derrick); and in the 2000-01 season, his critically acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel, Bleak House. In 2003, he relocated to Toronto, Ontario, where he incorporated the Troubled Souls Collective, which produced his popular site-specific productions, Haunted Masters in 2004 and More Haunted Masters in 2005, at the historic Victorian mansion Spadina Museum. Gene's screenplays, "Slave to His Mistress" and "The Pursued" (a prequel to Moby Dick), have placed as finalists in the Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting and at the Austin Film Festival.