DENVER (CBS4) – In the play “Peter and the Starcatcher” he’s a scenery-chewing take on Groucho Marx, but we all know where the character of “Black Stache” is heading.

CBS4 Critic at Large Greg Moody says Black Stache absolutely steals the show away.

“’Peter and the Starcatcher’ is not just absurd, but absurdly funny — hilarious in a biting and outrageous way. And a lot of that is due to the high energy brought to the stage by one character,” Moody said.

The action, energy and comedy of “Peter and the Starcatcher” seems wildly improvised — even in rehearsal — but director Roger Rees keeps it tightly orchestrated all along the way.

“It’s the kind of play that when you watch it, it kind of feels like it’s very free and loose and (improvised), and that energy is very definitely there, but it’s such a tightly-run ship,” said John Sanders, who plays the character Black Stache.

Sanders gets to have about as much fun as any one person can legally have on stage in the character of Black Stache, a melodramatic villain with some of the best comic bits that Moody has ever seen. But are they his, or are they scripted?

“The great thing about it is that our director Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and Willy, they really allow us to — to play and find new things,” Sanders said. “And we’ve got this great, long rehearsal process where, you know, we’ve never done this before, so we can find all these little gems and things and make it — make it new.”

What works and what doesn’t for Sanders as Black Stache all depends on what he gets back from the audience.

“I was looking up to play this role very briefly on Broadway, and the audiences there, just in one night, were so informative about this little bit and that little bit and how it falls on me personally, as opposed to someone else,” Sanders said. “I’m really looking forward to getting to Denver and seeing how — kind of that interaction goes with the audiences there.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” opens Aug. 15 in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and runs through Sept. 1. It is recommended for children 10 and older. For tickets call (303) 893-4100 or head to Use the promo code “Moody” on the phone, online or in person and get $15 off tickets in Price Level 2. That’s for shows on the Aug. 15 and 16 as well as the 20, 21 and 22.

– Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the Entertainment section.

– Also, don’t miss Moody’s entertaining bio, his Top Spots in Denver lists, and his frequently updated Moody’s Picks page.


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