Magic meets Broadway with TLT’s “Starcatcher”

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Imagine this: A cast of 11 actors strides onto the stage.

Mark Morales

Mark Morales

They address the audience.  With some wisecracking asides and puns, many are pirates, after all, they introduce us to the world we are about to enter. The audience readies itself to experience flying! Adventure! Big Dreams! And maybe some of the pros and cons of growing up.

“Peter and the Starcatcher,” the magical new production opening at the Tryon Little Theater to play Nov. 10-20, is based on the novel by humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The play is the imaginary back-story for the beloved eternal child that exists somewhere within all of us: Peter Pan.

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“What could be more fun than playing a pirate and a mermaid!” exclaimed Mark Morales, who has the lead role of “Black Stashe,” a character easily recognized by his aversion to crocodiles. Mark described riotous rehearsals with the rest of the very talented cast under the helm of director Chris Tinkler, and delighting in his scenery-chewing and perhaps scene-stealing role.

Mark is a Broadway veteran. Among his many roles: Munkustrap in “Cats,” playing opposite Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard,” and in the revival of  “West Side Story.” The latter had a special significance since his Aunt Carmen was Consuela in the original stage version.

Following a successful 30-year career in musical theater, Mark took some much deserved time off to visit his mother who was living in Asheville, and ended up falling in love with the mountains of North Carolina. His arrival in Tryon, thanks to his partner who lives here, is a very welcome addition to our thriving arts community.

“My career was predominantly built on singing and dancing in musicals,” said Mark.   “I was a bit reluctant at first to take on more of an acting role, but this play is truly phenomenal. It’s also a play with music and a lot of physical movement, so the work feels like a natural transition from what I was doing in New York.”

Like other escapees from an extremely competitive artistic environment, Mark says he feels “freer now than I ever have before, and this town is so welcoming to artists, it makes it comfortable to explore and play.” He also said his trust in Chris Tinkler as a director and the rest of cast “allows for experimentation and feels a lot like working in those wonderful theaters Off-Broadway in the early days — the best days.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is a wild adventure through a beautifully imagined, magical landscape.  Come enjoy the ride! For tickets, go to, or call the box office beginning Nov. 3 at 828-859-2466.

– article submitted by Catherine Gillet