A new adaptation of the tale about a boy who never grows up is grown-up in unexpected ways.Peter Pan has tattoos, Captain Hook is a lascivious ex-plastic surgeon who hallucinates talking lobsters, and the Lost Boys dress in the height of trucker-hat hipsterism in the Never Never Land that the artistic enablers of House of Yes have dreamed up in their aerial production of Peter Pan.
The House of Yes, a collaboratively-run theater space known for its groundbreaking, edgy aerial shows, has taken apart the children’s classic and turned it into a sexy, absurdist romp filled with a variety of costume styles and a young, attractive cast. And it’s all set to a soundtrack of down-tempo trip hop classics
On opening night, the sexiness started before any words are spoken, as Peter Pan, played by a androgynous Anya Sapozhnikova, kidnaps Wendy, played by Elena Delgado, from her bedroom.
As the story unfolded, the entire cast got a chance to show off their aerial skills on trapezes, silks, and ropes. There was even some fire poi.
Even though the play is about Peter Pan, it was full of other cultural references. For example, actor Benjamin Cerf was not playing Captain Hook, but instead Salvador Dali playing Captain Hook. The performance is full of seemingly off-the-cuff decisions, and it is easy to imagine that this whimsical character swap came about when Cerf put on his Hook costume and the cast realized how much he looked like Dali (he does).
They even added some wonderfully weird melting clock costumes.
That’s the beauty of these homegrown, collaborative performances. You can feel the untethered nature of the production, and it’s clear the cast is out to have fun and exercise their creativity. It also helps that the audiences to venues such as the House of Yes are looking for edgy, culture-jamming shows — and they understand that half the fun of witnessing these performances is witnessing a process.
The cast members were still working out the kinks, and when there was an obvious error, they charmingly went on with the show.
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