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‘Little Prince’ teen is enjoying the journey

Above: Wil Moser (front) and Andrew Barbato rehearsing for the New Repertory Theatre’s “The Little Prince.” Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

The boy travels long distances through space and time to pose deep questions about life.

Not a Little Prince from outer space. A teenager from Centerville.

The 15-year-old actor Wil Moser is making the Cape Cod-Watertown round trip almost every day with one or both of his parents, to rehearse and perform “The Little Prince” for New Repertory Theatre.

“Of course the worst thing about it is the traffic,” he says, like any other Southeast Expressway commuter. “It could be up to two hours to get there, which is pretty horrible.”

It’s fine, though, he says, “because if you love your work, it’s not a job.”


The musical, based on Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella about a crash-landed aviator and a mysterious little boy from a tiny asteroid, plays the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts Saturday through Dec. 21.

Nick Sulfaro (“Camelot” and “Rent” at New Rep) plays the Aviator, who has crashed his plane in the Sahara, and Moser is the Little Prince, who tells the poetic tale of his life and the home to which he longs to return.

“There’s something about Wil that felt very Little Prince-y to me,” director Ilyse Robbins says. “He’s very intelligent, he’s very inquisitive, and he’s very kind.” And he has a beautiful singing voice, she adds.

Robbins notes that the script calls for the Little Prince to be aged 8-12, while the Aviator is usually cast as 40. “I don’t know where you could find an 8-year-old who could learn all the lines, and do all the songs and actually act through them. I cannot actually imagine that.”

While Moser looks younger than his age, he’s still older than called for in the script. But Robbins says that’s actually a bonus with him playing alongside Sulfaro, who is 26.


“There’s something about his maturity that actually helps us, I think,” Robbins says. “My Aviator is younger than the Aviator is usually cast. So really what is happening is I have a more fraternal relationship happening with the Aviator and the Little Prince than paternal. And I really like it.”

There’s a moment, she says, when they’re side by side on stage, looking out at the audience, and they form “a lovely picture of being on either side of becoming a man.”

It’s actually Moser’s second turn in the title role. He played it almost two years ago for Eventide Arts in Dennis.

“I’ve grown a little since then, and I’ve learned a little bit more about the Little Prince,” says Moser. “I’m older, so I can understand more things, let’s say — the Little Prince and the Aviator, they’re basically the same person, but at different stages.”

Robbins is also known as a choreographer and does both here, working with music director Todd C. Gordon, a New Rep veteran. But “The Little Prince” is a different kind of show, and she’s hoping for a storybook come to life, with the help of set designer Matthew Lazure, who often works at Wheelock Family Theatre and with the Gold Dust Orphans.

Moser is glad to come back to the role, saying it was “very emotional” when it ended before. “My dad used to read the book to me when I was really little,” he says, “and that really helped me understand the Little Prince more than I would have if I just walked in to audition for the part.


“I know that he’s really innocent, and he has so many questions. He’s just like any other little kid, he wants to know the answer why,” the actor says.

Nick Sulfaro and director Ilyse Robbins discuss a scene.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

He’s ramped up his acting over the last couple of years, including “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” at Harwich Junior Theatre and the title role in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at Eventide almost back-to-back last winter. He has an agent, who has put him up for movie and TV roles, and he’s got his own website, www.wilmoser.com, with photos, reviews, and pictures.

And how is that playing with the other students during his freshman year at Barnstable High School in Hyannis?

“At first they thought I was all full of myself. They found my website,” he says. “They started sending it around, and it was just a little teasing, it was absolutely fine. And then it died down. And no one treats me special at school.”

He got bullied at a private school he attended previously, he says, one reason he transferred to public school.

Arriving at Barnstable, “I did tell some people who I got close to really fast, and those were the same people who are still friends with me today. And now that I got a chance to do it a second time, I told more people, and more people are happy for me, which is great,” he says. “It’s great to have friends who support me through this.”


Joel Brown can be reached at jbnbpt@gmail.com.