OREM — After multiple productions of "Peter Pan," Hale Center Theater Orem is bringing the origin story of the boy who wouldn't grow up to the stage in "Peter and the Starcatcher," opening Friday.

This Tony Award-winning "play with music" is based on the 2004 novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, according to a news release. Lizzy Dabczynski-Bean, who plays Molly (Monday/Wednesday/Friday), said in a phone interview with the Deseret News that there's a live pianist on the stage during the whole show, that every member of the cast sings and that it has "more music than a play usually has, but not enough music to call it a musical."

Dabczynski-Bean first saw "Peter and the Starcatcher" with the original Broadway cast in New York City in 2012. She and her husband, Spencer Bean, fell in love with the play and both are now performing in the HCTO production.

According to the news release, "Peter and the Starcatcher" tells the story of orphan boys who are shipped off to a distant island when they are discovered by a girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training, who realizes that a trunk on their ship holds a precious, powerful substance. Then the ship is attacked by pirates and the adventure really begins.

"The story is just really magical," Dabczynski-Bean said. "It's imaginative, it's bittersweet, it's funny and it's sad. It's everything it needs to be wrapped up in this extraordinarily creative and imaginative way of storytelling."

Her character, Molly, is 13 years old, and all the other children are played by adults as well. Dabczynski-Bean said the idea is it's a play within a play, as a group of adults tells a story about kids pretending to be adults.

"It hearkens back to the vaudevillian era of theater where we make do with what we have," she said. "You use your imagination and creativity, and we tell the story."

Ben Henderson, who plays the pirate Black Stache, agreed that the play "depends upon the audience's imagination."

"The way the show is intended to be done is with a couple of objects and a couple of ropes and we ask the audience to fill in the blanks with their own imagination," he said. "That gives us a lot of freedom as the actors to play pretend. It really does feel like when you're a little kid and you create a pirate ship out of a broom and a blanket and a rope."

Dabczynski-Bean said the small, intimate stage at the HCTO is perfect for this type of play.

"This type of storytelling is not going to be super unusual to the audiences at the Hale," Dabczynski-Bean said. "Because of the size and shape restrictions of that theater, they oftentimes have to consolidate their cast or the concept of the play. … I would say this play even takes it a step further than what audiences might be used to as far as just the imagination is concerned."

Henderson played the role of Captain Hook at the HCTO in 2014, and he called Black Stache "the version of Captain Hook before he becomes Captain Hook," so in many ways, he's revisiting a role he already played, only this time he's getting to learn all about the back story.

"He is a very vivid character. He doesn't do anything half-way," he said of Black Stache. "I like him because his words in the script demand 100 percent of my energy and attention in order to execute them on stage. Black Stache has been, I think, the most irreverent character I've ever played, which of course for an actor is a ton of fun."

Dabczynski-Bean said there will be something for both adults and children to enjoy in this show.

"Every line is packed with meaning, so if the adults are listening and paying attention, the story is going to be incredibly meaningful to them," she said. "But it's also a very visually fun show. There's a lot of silliness, physicality, playing, running around, being on the floor and jumping. … There are pirates and other characters (that children) can understand, relate to, laugh at and be afraid of. I think it's definitely a show for the whole family."

Content advisory: "Peter and the Starcatcher" contains mild implied violence and mild swearing.

If you go …

What: "Peter and the Starcatcher"

Where: Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem

When: Feb. 16-April 8, 7:30 p.m. with 3 p.m. Saturday matinees and 4 p.m. Friday performances on March 24, 31 and April 7

How much: $22-$24 for general, $16-$18 for children

Phone: 801-226-8600

Web: haletheater.org

Email: mbulsiewicz@deseretnews.com

Twitter: mgarrett589