Broadway Across America presents Finding Neverland running January 10-15, 2017 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets are available here, or in person at The Paramount Theatre Box Office.
Finding Neverland based on the 2004 film of the same name, tells the story of how J.M. Barrie came to create the beloved “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”.
The musical adaptation went through several evolutions on its way to Broadway. Harvey Weinstein, executive producer of the film, was determined to see it hit Broadway even if he had to hire and fire creative teams, which he did on several occasions.
In spite of the fabled Weinstein alchemy, the musical garnered only mixed reviews when it debuted and was locked out of that year’s Tony nominations. But that didn’t stop audiences from embracing the show. It ran for 17 months.
Now the first touring company of Finding Neverland is coming to the Paramount Theatre.
Yes, there will be flying. And yes, there’s a real dog, trained by Bill Berloni, Broadway’s favorite animal whisperer. And yes, Tinker Bell will be a bossy-pants fairy, Captain Hook will be the villain, and his pirate crew will be rowdy. And of course, there’s a crocodile.
Set in 1904 London, playwright Barrie is suffering from a failed marriage and writer’s block. . Seeking inspiration, he finds it unexpectedly in Kensington Park, where he meets four mischievous lads, the youngest of which is named -you got it- Peter. They’re sons of the ailing widow Sylvia. Barrie is immediately smitten by Sylvia; she with him, etc. etc.
The tale of their doomed love is juxtaposed with Barrie and the boys’ “pretend” adventures. Enter Peter Pan. He lives in a place called Neverland where dreams are born and boys never grow up.
Kevin Kern, who understudied Mathew Morrison on Broadway, stars as Barrie. He’s paired with Christine Dwyer as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Ben Krieger is Peter, and Tom Hewitt doubles as the overbearing impresario Charles Frohman and the villainous Captain Hook.
Helmed by Tony-winning (“Pippin”) director Diane Paulus, “Finding Neverland” features a book by James Graham, with music and lyrics co-written by Gary Barlow of “Take That” and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Eliot Kennedy. Choreography is by Mia Michaels, a three-time Emmy winner for “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Barlow and Kennedy’s music style . . . you might call it Broadway pop. The whole thing becomes a mashup of tenderness, tragedy, frolicking, and most of all, imagination.
Word of mouth? “Finding Neverland” promises razzle-dazzle, amazing visuals and plenty of fairy dust. Corny? Maybe.
But wait. There’s child in all of us, and here’s the proof.
The croc is ticking. Tick-tock, tick-tock . . .
Broadway Across America presents “Finding Neverland” running January 10-15, 2017 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets are available here, or in person at The Paramount Theatre Box Office.