See it if You're a fan of Sarah Ruhl & the great Kathleen Chalfant, like plays that bring up disturbing topics like aging & death in creative ways
Don't see it if You don't want to have death and illness thrust in your face--even with humor, don't like clever fantasy scenes or family sagas with death
See it if You enjoy dining-room family dramedies, but ones that have a bit of quirkiness to them.
Don't see it if You can't sit through another play about the death of a parent, even if it's relatively lighthearted.
See it if you like family dramas and don't mind themes of aging and mortality.
Don't see it if you prefer action or "easy" shows that don't require much brain power. The dialogue is sometimes complex and scenes are disjointed.
See it if you love Kathleen Chalfont. She is AMAZING and worth sitting through 90 pointless minutes just to watch her act! Set is interesting.
Don't see it if you were looking for something meaningful or fun.It's an ok play, but very slow. Which is perfect in the hospital room scenes, but otherwise
See it if You want to see a wonderful childhood story with most of the magic taken out. You can sit through an excruciating long death bed scene.
Don't see it if You want your childhood memories of Peter Pan to remain intact. You don't want to struggle to put the pieces of a disjointed story together.
See it if You are loyal to Playwrights and/or a fan of Ruhl, this playwright. You like family dramedy, political banter, or existential pondering.
Don't see it if You are looking for a lively night at the theatre -- this show drags and doesn't really deliver.
See it if Fantasy oriented family drama. Well intentioned, but misses on many levels
Don't see it if like a concise story that mixes whimsy and drama successfully
See it if you like plays that focus on aging and mortality, you enjoy quirky surrealism in the last act or a playwright's tribute to her mother
Don't see it if death is a touchy subject for you (the deathbed scenes are very true to life). Second act is slow and boring and weakest part.
"Sometimes moving, sometimes baggy play...'For Peter Pan' strikes me as stuck partway between theatrical worlds...Without external conflict, the interactions can seem shapeless, the pacing gelatinous. Making things worse is the unevenness of the performances...If you are aiming for lightness, a leaden, humorless staging will sink you. To fly, a work like 'For Peter Pan' needs a great deal more fairy dust than it gets here."
“What begins in gauzy dullness—Ruhl mandates that the first two parts ‘should feel almost unperformed,’ and they do—eventually gets hoisted on a clunky apparatus of symbolism about refusing to grow old…The finale trots out familiar stuff about the magic of theater, but no amount of fairy dust and clapping can reanimate a play that never seemed alive to begin with. It’s a waste of the playwright’s gifts, and the audience’s time."
"What had happened between an inspired idea and a production that left me more frustrated than inspired?...It comes down to two things: design and politics...Ruhl revels in the world of fancy, but this production’s visuals leave little to the imagination...The play’s engagement with politics feels preemptively dated...Ruhl’s play is standing right on the edge of something quite marvelous and mournful, but at times it feels just a little too afraid of its own shadow."
"Even the most skilled playwright would have trouble juggling these disparate stylistic elements of confessional monologue, homespun naturalism and fantasy, and despite—or perhaps because of—Ruhl's personal connection to her material, the piece feels hopelessly strained...Chalfant, as always, is superb, mining her role for every bit of humor and emotion. The other members of the ensemble are equally fine...But the cast's efforts are not enough to lift this laborious work."
“Ruhl’s story of J.M. Barrie's iconic characters gone to seed is the most moving aspect of 'For Peter Pan,' a play that ultimately gets stuck midway between banal family drama and a surrealistic meditation on aging…No one in this ensemble of actors really captures the recognizable humanity, grief, and ultimate realization needed to translate Ruhl's ideas from stage to audience."
"After the father has passed on and an impromptu Irish wake is held, Ruhl's deft ear for dialogue is enough to hold our attention...But Ruhl badly overplays her hand in the jarring final sequence, in which Ann and the others find themselves inside a production of 'Peter Pan'...Compared to what has come before, it plays like bad sketch comedy...By making thuddingly explicit what has been clear all along, a gently touching meditation on mortality gets buried under a pile of self-indulgent shtick."
“It's small talk, mostly, but it's lovely…And the actors are all wonderful, led by Chalfant's contemplative yet drama-loving Ann…We like this bunch, and we're glad to be with them. Until Ruhl goes somewhere else…It's a third act of sorts, a replaying of 'Peter Pan' heavy with Barrie dialogue, meant to evoke, the intermingling of our fantasy and real lives…Whatever it is, it feels tacked-on…Worth seeing, this latest Ruhl? Two-thirds of it, yes.”
“What this all means is something only Ms. Ruhl knows as the entire dramatic configuration of the play is baffling and sluggish at 90 minutes. We go from a drawn-out dying sequence to a typical brothers and sisters clash that’s all adequately rendered at best. The rehash of J.M. Barrie’s characters is certainly whimsical but doesn’t really parallel the lives of the characters and makes no real impact...There are some lovely moments in 'For Peter Pan' but as a whole it’s stillborn.”