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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
68
Avg Score

50
Confusing, Excruciating, Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you like Peter Pan and enjoy watching special effects like flying on stage.

Don't see it if you are looking for a light-hearted, didactic Sarah Ruhl play. I didn't really feel like I left the theatre with a message to take with me.

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.

80
Disappointing, What-was-that-about?, Ambitious, Confusing, Intense

See it if You like Kathleen Chalfant and would go to see her read the phone book.

Don't see it if You love Peter Pan, and have any expectations of a Pan-like theater experience.

Also The promotional info for this show made it sound charming and engaging... Read more Read less

64
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you want in interesting show about aging

Don't see it if you are ok with the fact that the third scene offers zero payoff after a great buildup in the first two.

75
Dated, Slow, Intense, Clever, Delightful

See it if - You're dealing with grief. - You are older than 25. - You love the story of Peter Pan.

Don't see it if - You're looking for minority voices. - You're looking for a youthful perspective. - You don't get the hype behind Peter Pan.

69
Confusing, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if Are interested in an interesting story.

Don't see it if Get confused easily. Still trying to sorta figure out this show

81
Clever, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you want to see a reflection of a real family and a specific yet universal story.

Don't see it if you want a lot of plot because this is mostly driven by emotion

65
Confusing, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you're a fan of Sarah Ruhl or Kathleen Chalfant.

Don't see it if you have an issue with long digressions which don't seem to go anywhere, or if you don't like magic realism

36
Disappointing

See it if Not at all

Don't see it if Are limited with the number of shows you see

56
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Surreal, Confusing

See it if You are fans of the author, actors or director. If you don't care if the set matches and enhances the story.

Don't see it if You like a well written story that doesn't waste time or words and a set design that is clever and enhances the show.

70
Absorbing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you want a quiet meditation on life and death, memory play, are fascinated by the psyche of the Peter Pan story

Don't see it if you need something fast paced, with more short scenes instead of 3 long ones, if you would rather see a play with young actors

79
Great acting, Quirky, Ambitious, Funny

See it if you don't need full-on realism, you're a Chalfant, Ruhl, or Playwrights Horizons fan, you like family stories, you don't mind tonal shifts

Don't see it if you can't watch another realistic family deathbed scene, you don't like whimsy, you don't like plays to switch stylistic horses midstream

Also This isn't Clean House. The play could have used some cutting, it sags... Read more Read less

68
Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Indulgent, Resonant

See it if You like to see unusual, risk-taking, quirky things or are a big Ruhl fan.

Don't see it if You need tight narrative cohesion and obvious forward momentum.

75
Quirky, Profound, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Uneven

See it if You (like I) love all the "back-story" works about Peter (Finding Neverland, Peter & the Starcatchers, etc.). You love Kathleen Chalfant.

Don't see it if You need your stories wrapped up tight with a bow. You need heavy "plot action". You prefer literalism over symbolism.

36
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You are a member of Sarah Rule's family

Don't see it if You are not a member of Sarah Rule's family

57
Funny, Entertaining, Cliched, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if You like classic shows updated

Don't see it if if you are looking for a great or moving show...I recommend picking another show.

During previews
45
Pointless, Charmless, Insipid, Clunky, Embarrassing

See it if you love Chalfant. She soars (literally!) even in an incoherent vehicle. But what gibberish she and her cast mates must speak. Bad script.

Don't see it if you want insights. Discussions (religion, politics, euthanasia) are superficial. Ruhl delivers a mess. Waste of talented cast/expensive set.

Also The original Peter Pan packs a wallop at the end when Wendy must stay ... Read more Read less

During previews
54
Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if If this gets SEVERELY reworked in previews.

Don't see it if you don’t want to fall asleep, be treated to puerile platitudes about growing up then watch a TV version of what a bad high school play is.

Also This was very amateurish. ... Read more Read less

During previews
56
Slow, Disappointing, Strange, Confusing, Disjointed

See it if Cast is good, but writing & direction is strange & disjointed. 1st part is painfully slow, 2nd part is tedious & 3rd part is just bizarre.

Don't see it if It's all over the place. At one point I felt like I was watching improv exercises for a high school theater troupe. No clear vision/voice.

Also The play is actually very hard to describe. I went from being bored to... Read more Read less

During previews
69
Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Disappointing, Uneven

See it if You like intimate family dramas, especially if you were raised Catholic, in a small town even better.

Don't see it if You don't want to face death, family and politics all coming to a boiling point.

During previews
54
Cliched, Excruciating, Disjointed, Slow, Unoriginal

See it if This was excruciating. Disjointed plot with a weak script. Couldn't wait for it to end. Ambitious for sure but a rough watch.

Don't see it if I like to give most shows especially ones at Playwrights a break but this was a miss. Sorry.

During previews
79
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if A taut, well directed ensemble bring out the best in Ruhl's choppy autobiographical tritych Opening scene emotionally wrenching & the best

Don't see it if Death, aging & the afterlife may not be considered 'entertainment' to many but Ruhl's writting often sharp & poignant Middle act is a slog

During previews
61
Effort to use "peter pan" as frame to discuss deep philosophical issues does not pan out

See it if semi-autobiographical portrayal of playwright's family arguing about death, religion, politics well-acted but not very theatrical

Don't see it if at end recreating Peter Pan-like tale w family members as characters 2 explore issues of death/becoming an adult, etc. doesn't work

During previews
80
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Clever, Intimate, Engaging

See it if you're a human getting older.

Don't see it if you have no qualms about aging or dying.

During previews
86
Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting

See it if you wish to see a very clever retelling of the Peter Pan story. Excellent cast with wonderful and amusing set. Entertaining intelligent show

Don't see it if you do not like any story about Peter Pan.


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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