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For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday

From 165 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Ambitious, Quirky

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl's play in which five siblings are driven to reconnect with childhood dreams in the wake of their father’s death. More…

Playing Peter Pan at her hometown children’s theater is one of Ann’s fondest, most formative memories. Now, 50 years later, Neverland calls again, casting her and her siblings back to this faraway dreamscape where the refusal to grow up confronts the inevitability of growing old. Ruhl conjures a tender, yearning tale that flies in the face of time in the search for a second youth.


Member Reviews (165)

MEMBERS SAY:

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Ambitious, Quirky
67
Avg Score

84
Clever, Ambitious, Cliched, Thought-provoking, Deliberately disturbing

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

64
Intelligent, Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

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.

81
Great acting, Resonant, Quirky, Confusing, Funny

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.

56
Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying, Depressing, Slow

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.

70
Great acting, Slow, Ambitious

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.

74
Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

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

63
Quirky, Silly, Slow

See it if you are interested in unusual ways to re-visit Peter Pan and do not mind the lack of story line.

Don't see it if you want a strong story and well-developed characters and do not particularly care about Peter Pan.

65
Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent

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

73
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if A touching play about siblings returning to their childhood fantasies. Lovely ensemble acting.

Don't see it if If you prefer musicals or light dramas.

80
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound, Intelligent

See it if You like plays that focus on feelings that come up later in life. This play made me think a lot about my family. The loves and the losses.

Don't see it if If you want to see an "Uplifting"play without flying gear.

65
Confusing, Cliched, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Overrated

See it if What a waste of superior talent in a story that doesn't seem to know where it is going

Don't see it if You have any other options . These actors have all done great work elsewhere and will do so again . Skip this one .

Also Ruhl must be an acquired taste I'm waiting to acquire .

63
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

See it if This is a dialogue driven play with two disjointed parts. To me, Peter Pan is overdone, and this point of view was tedious but tried

Don't see it if You are not into overly talk-y plays

71
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if You're up for a low key but funny meditation on aging & mortality, the terrific cast creating a real family with deceptive ease.

Don't see it if You're impatient or looking for fluff, music or a snappy pace, don't like fantasy in any form, or plays where dialogue is all.

Also There's a lot of good in this play: much wit and some touching moments... Read more Read less

62
Cliched, Slow, Doesn't hang together, Disappointing, Ambitious

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.

50
Cliched, Banal, Excruciating, Great acting, Overrated

See it if you love any of the actors in the piece, especially Chalfant, or you are interested in stories of family dynamics across time

Don't see it if you are interested in a play that has a meaningful/new message or one that is particularly well-written/paced.

40
Indulgent, Disappointing, Quirky, Slow, Pointless

See it if only if you are intent on seeing every work written by Sarah Ruhl.

Don't see it if you expect interesting characters, dialogue and situations or if you want a play that really has something to say about Peter Pan.

72
Disappointing, Great acting, Insipid, Ambitious

See it if you want to see Kathleen Chalfant fly as Peter Pan and excellent acting by Lisa Emery

Don't see it if you want to see a fast moving well written play

59
Cliched, Quirky, Slow

See it if you are a fan of family dramas. A family comes together over tragedy & fights/reminisces. The first half was ok, then the fantasy starts

Don't see it if you are just looking for the Peter Pan aspect. That section is only about 20 minutes long. This show was maybe marketed incorrectly...?

65
Slow, Great acting, Different, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you want to see 70 year old playing Peter Pan.

Don't see it if you don't like shows are partly realistic and part fantasy.

71
Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You never wanted to grow up or grow old, but you did anyway at least the grow old part.

Don't see it if You're aging and you just see no point in discussing it, specially not with your brothers and sisters. Or you like plays with plots .

Also A whimsical rumination on what is to be an adult, lose a parent, grow ... Read more Read less

78
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if If willing to build some bridges between 3 very disparate sections of a play, love Kathleen Chalfant, are interested in talk of afterlife.

Don't see it if Combining realistic family drama a la Apple plays and whimsical fantasy with heavy symbolism is not your thing, or prefer your theater light

Also I appreciate the ambitious attempt Ruhl makes to distinguish between g... Read more Read less

81
Great writing, Clever, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a biographical story with a powerful narrative about aging

Don't see it if you prefer a more fluffy interpretation and true peter pan relevance.

77
Ambitious, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You're a fan of Sarah Ruhl or Kathleen Chalfant or both. You can handle a mix of profound reality and crazy fantasy.

Don't see it if You need straight forward pieces that are easy to understand and dissect. You don't want to hear political debate or are disturbed by dying

Also This is 90 minutes in basically 2 acts : first we see a family over th... Read more Read less

30
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if Want to spend 20 minutes wishing a character would die. Sorry they weren't dead when the play began so we could get on with it.

Don't see it if You are a fan of Chalfant. She's terribly miscast in a badly written part in a poorly written play Nesver believed she wanted to be Peter.

Also Boring first scene. Boring second scene. Messy 3rd scene. Interesting ... Read more Read less

66
Great acting, Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you wanted to see a talented ensemble dealing with a family drama.

Don't see it if you didn't realize what a heartbreaking family play this is (the advertising was very deceptive). The "Follies" like climax moved me.


September 13th, 2017
"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 l...
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September 13th, 2017
“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...
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September 14th, 2017
"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 feel...
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September 13th, 2017
"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 ...
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