More from Indy Fringe: No Exit's 'I Am Peter Pan'

August 24, 2012
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This isn't normally the way I do things, but the squirm-inducing, out-of-town improvisational troupe that I saw perform last night at Indy Fringe hit the wall so hard that I'm not even going to name the group or the show.

Rather than replay their overcrowded flop-sweat antics at fairly basic impro games, I'd rather talk about the show I saw next.

That show, No Exit's "I am Peter Pan," is a Fringe hit that deserves the crowds its drawing.

The format will seem wildly original to some, familiar to others (especially those who saw the Phoenix Theatre's production of "Shipwrecked"). It's character-based storytelling using simply props and the audience's imagination. Unlike the Broadway show "Peter and the Starcatcher," which also includes creative props in lieu of special effects, "I am Peter Pan" isn't an origin story for the boy who didn't grow up. Instead, it concerns a young boy wrestling with his father's illness by going on imagined adventures to Neverland. 

Directed and devised by Butler grad Michael Burke and anchored by a sweet, joyful and sad tour-de-force performance by Ryan Mullins, the show begins charmingly, offers a relentlessly smile-inducing first half, hits some dramaturgical snags (losing some focus in the Tiger Lily and magic pill sequences) but ends with raw emotional power--and a very neat device for having a two-character confrontation with only one actor in the room. I'm not convinced all of the elements quite fit together, but I laughed. I cried. and my anticipation for more No Exit productions increased dramatically.

"I am Peter Pan" has two more Fringe performances. Good luck getting in. 

And No Exit has a full-slate of shows coming up, including a September production of the play "Closer," and Burke's production of "MacBeth" later in the season.

Your thoughts? 

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  • Peter Pan
    I have to agree totally with you Lou. I though, think it was one of the best Fringe shows I have seen ever. Ryan Mullins is a tour-de-force.
  • Indy Fringe 2012
    I saw 465: Sex Drive last night and it was excellent! Well done!
  • Q Artistry
    Give "BOT a try...very good show...2 more of those left as well, and you should have a shot at getting in there.
  • No Exit
    My english teacher and theatre teacher work for no exit. I actually have seen I AM PETER PAN yesturday (the last day). No Exit Performance, in lack for a better word, is adventurous. I have only seen 3 of their plays and all of them are wonderful!!!

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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