When Synetic Theater announced their new season a few months ago, I was happy to hear they would be kicking it off with a family-friendly show, The Adventures of Peter Pan. The company is known for its innovative approach to theater, often infusing classics with beautiful movement and sometimes even eliminating dialogue. (In fact, it was there that I saw my favorite adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, a wordless version that was absolutely mesmerizing.) However, many of their productions are too sophisticated for kids, so it had been awhile since I’d brought mine to a performance there.
The familiar tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up is now on stage at the venue in Crystal City. And though they may have a younger audience in mind, Synetic doesn’t skimp one bit on their unique, artistic style. Captivating dance numbers, both spirited and subtle performances by the cast, dazzling costumes, and gorgeous use of light and props make an already magical story even more enchanting.
It’s an adventure, for sure, as Peter Pan journeys to Neverland with the Darling children and, along with the Lost Boys, battles Captain Hook and his crew. Scenes are full of energy and amazing choreography. The blend of dancing, sword fights, and some moving, emotional moments keeps all eyes on stage and the audience on the edge of seats. Although most of us know what ultimately happens, we’re still absorbed by the action and want to see it play out — especially in Synetic’s signature, physically dramatic style.
The show strays from the original, but the elements that make it different are some of the best parts. Peter’s shadow is a main character — he’s in just about every scene with him — and their dances together are so fantastic. (I realized later that the actor who played him, Zana Gankhuyag, was Romeo in the production I loved so much.) Also, Tinker Bell is Peter’s sister in this version, and she sparkles as much as her delightful fairy costume.
Sasha said her favorite part of the show was a mermaid dance, a beautiful ballet among rippling sheets of fabric lit with blue to create a scene of water. When I asked what she liked best, though, she did have to think about it because “there were so many good parts!” I couldn’t agree more.
The Adventures of Peter Pan is running at Synetic Theater through November 19. Tickets are $15-55. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
* On Sunday, October 29 at 2pm, Synetic Theater is hosting a Pirate’s Ball, a family-friendly version of its annual Vampire’s Ball. Tickets include the 2pm performance of ‘Peter Pan,’ post-show family activities, light appetizers, and a meet-and-greet with some of the cast! All attendees are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a trick-or-treat bag! More info here.