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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

During previews
89
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You've ever lost a loved-one or lost a pet. Frank talk about death; magical 3rd part sequence about going to Neverland. Chalfant is great!

Don't see it if You'd be bored by watching a "real time" sequence of a hurting family waiting in the hospital waiting area while their dad is dying.

During previews
69
Great acting, Relevant, Quirky, Both humorous and sad

See it if you enjoy a good ensemble cast, the acting is wonderful

Don't see it if The themes are important with the promise of a good story but has little substance and depth. Good start with Act 1, Act 2 falls apart.

During previews
70
Disappointed, Play was disjointed and banal, Nice acting, Occasional delights.

See it if You want the treat of seeing Chalfont live on stage. Play touches on death, dying, concerns re aging, faith.

Don't see it if Don't want a too realistic look (read slow) of a bedside vigil. The play is divided into 3 parts - I was bored by 1&2, sorta charmed by 3rd.

Also Oh dear, I wanted to like this so much. Was delighted when the marvelo... Read more Read less

During previews
83
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You fear growing old. Are curious about the changing relationships within families. About what love and family means. Kathleen Chalfant!!

Don't see it if You like action. Are sad about someone dying. Are stubborn about reconciliation.

During previews
65
Not quite ready for viewing.

See it if You like a work in progress that has ideas but isn't coming together yet.

Don't see it if You want a well thought out finished play.

During previews
50
Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow

See it if you must see everything by Sarah Ruhl or if you are a fan of Kathleen Chalfant and Lisa Emery.

Don't see it if you are upset by long deathbed scenes or if you have a low tolerance for whimsy.

Also It's only 90 minutes, but it seemed much longer.

During previews
50
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you are prepared to be bored to death watching the father die; and by the "nothing new here" chat following; amusing but not surprising end

Don't see it if you don't mind seeing excellent actors who could be better served performing in a good play; this one was generally a yawn.

During previews
91
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You love Kathleen Chalfant! See her fly along with a great cast in a play by Sarah Ruhl

Don't see it if Can't think if a reason

During previews
40
Unimpressive, Unexceptional, Dull, Ruhl's done better, No insight

See it if Ruhl experiments w/ a family drama that for once doesn’t hinge on ghastly suppressed secrets or neurotic personalities. Sounds cool, right?

Don't see it if you expect that experiment to succeed. Play fails to stimulate emotionally or intellectually. Sadly lowered my estimation of Ruhl. Skip.

Also Acting & design are fine, but the whole construct of staging a story t... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Ruhl's touching take on aging

See it if a sweet, nostalgic play with endearing supernatural elements, Best, perhaps, for those approaching senior status. Chalfant is marvelous.

Don't see it if you are disturbed by deathbed scenes -- though this one is quite uplifting. Emery is wonderful as Wendy, Last scenes are a lot of fun.

During previews
65
Great acting, Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Some great acting here. Also some great writing, in parts.

Don't see it if It doesn't add up to much. They name-check a lot of issues - aging, families, regrets, politics - but don't really say much about them.

During previews
68
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Uneven

See it if plays about aging interest you. There is so much focus today on the young it was great to see something clever for my demographic.

Don't see it if yet another typical political discussion bores you. The scene in this production was trite, slow and uneven. Last scene had fresh ideas.

During previews
69
Meta, Indulgent, Fine acting, Nicely staged

See it if Self-referential play set in 3 tableaux - which is the most interesting aspect of the play - that skims the surface of family relationships

Don't see it if and life-after-death questions. If you'd like to see intelligent, loving family relationships, rent The Apple Family plays instead.

During previews
70
Ambitious, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you like family stories about siblings grown up (and one who does not want to grow up !)...but not dysfunctional..a normal close knit group.

Don't see it if you don't want fantasy...the siblings become the characters in Peter Pan in the third scene. Kinda fun but kinda silly.

Also Excellent staging, acting and lighting.... but dialogue a bit repetiti... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Confusing

See it if are interested in exploring life's greatest questions in a humorous vein. Peter Pan is presented as an analogy for aspects of life and death

Don't see it if you have no interest in Peter Pan or life after death.

Also While it is an intriguing perspective that is quite enjoyable, this pl... Read more Read less

During previews
56
Boring, Slow, Pretentious, Superb acting, Disappointing

See it if you like conversation and meditations on life, death, family, religion and politics with minimal plot, slow pace and lots of sentimentality.

Don't see it if you like a plot driven play that is realistic with that has a normal or fast pace and dislike an overly silly childish last scene.

During previews
75
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Wish to see a more personal play from the playwrite

Don't see it if Like one narrative that continues all the way through

During previews
60
Confusing, Excruciating, Overrated, Disjointed, borin

See it if you are a fan of Sarah Ruhl plays, this one is personal. The play has 3 components in 90 mins that are related, but disjointed & confusing.

Don't see it if you don't like plays about dying relatives, political family discussions and childhood memories.

During previews
67
Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if You want to see how a family handles death.

Don't see it if You want this to top Sarah Ruhl's other work.

During previews
68
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you want a thought-provoking play about aging and regret. Two-thirds of the play is straightforward narrative - with 1/3 as dreamlike tale.

Don't see it if you want something clear-cut. This is storytelling with twists and turns of memory and fantasy - that's ultimately rather unsatisfying.

During previews
51
Some good acting, A bit thought-provoking

See it if A play that considers aging, death and what may come after appeals to you, and you don't mind that it is grounded in inauthentic family chat

Don't see it if Even if the first doesn't repel you, an escape into confused whimsey is not where you want to go.

During previews
76
Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to think about family and aging.

Don't see it if you don't like quiet shows.

During previews
88
Disarming, Poignant, Quirky, Resonant, Intense

See it if you're up for intimate family drama: last hours with dying parent, messy dynamics among loving siblings, shared ambivalence about adulthood

Don't see it if memories of death-bed vigil too painful, clashes re politics with family members distasteful, whimsy of adults' childhood fantasies irksome

Also This may be a love it or hate it kind of piece, as reviews imply. I fo... Read more Read less

During previews
65
Disappointing, Quirky

See it if you are a fan of Kathleen Chalfant (great) or nostalgic about Peter Pan childhood memories; if you have patience for the author; good sets

Don't see it if you want a coherently written work that has insights into ideas about the loss of childhood and innocence or you are a fan of Ruhl

Also This 90 minute, no intermission production needs a good edit. The atte... Read more Read less

During previews
45
Disappointing, Cliched, Banal, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if You like Family drama exploring themes of death and mortality.

Don't see it if You want a thought provoking satisfying drama. It is a confusing bit of fluff with no real meaningful core


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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