After the bows and applause on the night I attended this two-actor rendition of J.M. Barrie’s classic story, a little girl in the audience wailed to her mother, “I don’t want to leave!” It’s a completely understandable reaction to this enchanting 90-minute one-act from the troupe Bros do Prose, directed by Christian Libonati and starring Breon Arzell and Ella Raymont.
While Arzell and Raymont primarily portray Peter Pan and Wendy, they also play a multitude of characters using accents, body language, props, and, most notably, infinite energy. Both actors demonstrate a rare command of language and control over their physical comedy; their exuberance is contagious. With limited set pieces ranging from a laptop DJ station to a blow-up alligator pool toy, the actors’ stage presence and their commitment to the material elevate the production into excitingly imaginative territory. Hip-hop interludes showcase their impressive rap skills (there’s a dance party to House of Pain’s “Jump Around”), and the show program even comes into play during a dramatic water scene.
Bros do Prose, according to its website, “adapts epic literature into 2-person immersive and physically electric shows.” Its version of Peter Pan is a mix of the well-told tale and modern, comedic updates. At its core, though, it remains a heartwarming tale about how growing up isn’t so bad as long as you remain young at heart. Wendy says it best: “If you can strengthen that beautiful imagination of yours, then every day of your life will be an awfully big adventure.” v