Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Howard Shapiro

Howard Shapiro joined The Inquirer in 1970 and has held many writing and editing positions, including cultural arts editor and travel editor. He now writes for The Inquirer’s features section.

His “On Travel” column appears occasionally on Sundays in Travel, and his theater reviews appear in the Daily Magazine and Weekend.

Find his podcasts with theater artists at

  Email Howard at
The new play Peter and the Starcatcher is a trip in so many ways. It’s a literal trip, a loopy story about the pirate crews of two ships chasing each other for a misplaced treasure possibly aboard one of the vessels. It’s trippy, with a plot centered on something that seems called star stuff that seems to come from somebody’s psychedelic dream and could be used for good or evil or just to make things weird. And it’s a trip in slangy way, with over-the-top characters and a script that plays with everything from the English language to the audience. It’s a little like Monty Python in its wit and silliness, a little like Wicked in that it fabricates a backstory for an iconic one, and a lot like a piece of children’s theater that went wildly awry. It’s also big fun, if you give it the chance.
It's curtains for the Greater Philadelphia Theatre Alliance, the organization serving theaters and audiences over two decades of explosive growth that raised the number of professional stages in the region to more than 50, the highest ever.

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