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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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

74
Clever, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy the clever and often offbeat ways that Sarah Ruhl frames her plays. Definitely worth seeing for the cast - they are exceptional.

Don't see it if you want events and scenes to play out literally. There are lots of metaphors, overlapping worlds, and sometimes confusing leaps of faith.

73
Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Slow

See it if you love Kathleen Chalfant

Don't see it if you want a clearly focused meditation on its principal themes, ie aging and death. Toys with significance but never gets there

88
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Funny, Delightful

See it if you appreciate shows that discuss aging, politics and keeping your spirit young.

Don't see it if you want to laugh all the time. This explores letting go of those we love.

76
Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Quirky

See it if I like her plays and after review had low expectations but enjoyed good dialogue

Don't see it if like a good ending the last part of the play was the weakest

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

See it if You love to see pros on stage do their thing, and you like to be challenged a bit by the material

Don't see it if Fantasy ideas turn you off

80
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if you're a fan of Sarah Ruhl or Peter Pan! This play is so refreshing while being nostalgic and profound at the same time. Bring tissues!

Don't see it if You don't like theatre that breaks the 4th wall, Sarah Ruhl, stories about death

100
Delightful, Great staging, Fluffy, Poignant

See it if You like Sarah Ruhl's work, you enjoy the classic Peter Pan story, you like quiet beautiful work.

Don't see it if You have no frame of reference for Peter Pan beyond the Disney movie, you need a lot of plot action, reality breaks bother you.

78
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You are as much a Sarah Ruhl fan as I. Great writing, wonderful performances (esp. Chalfant) - reflective of aging, death and growing up.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy quirkiness

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You want a play which is touching on many levels and deals with real issues with both humor and pathos, enjoy a wonderful acting ensemble.

Don't see it if You need a traditionally linear play, don't like flights of fancy mixed with serious drama, have little imagination, are immune to delight.

72
Delightful, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Banal, Uneven

See it if If you're a fan of Sarah Ruehl and/or Kathleen Chalfant, and like quirky scripts with a homespun glow.

Don't see it if If you are expecting linear drama with a clear throughline or any strong message. And if you don't like "quirky" plays

70
Quirky, Intense

See it if you are willing to embrace a show that deviates from the classic, Western plot structure.

Don't see it if you have recently lost someone important or are uncomfortable with nostalgia and aging.

95
Delightful, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Unique

See it if you like plays about family relationships, but with a positive spin.

Don't see it if you don't like theater that's a little unexpected.

Also Sarah Ruhl brings us a lovely play about siblings dealing with their f... Read more Read less

70
Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you have never seen Kathleen Chalfant on stage. Regardless of the shortcomings of the play, she is a theatrical treasure and not be missed.

Don't see it if you prefer plays with a dramatic arc or real stakes and character development; if lengthy conversations about aging and politics bore you.


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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