Friday, April 24, 2015

Finding Neverland @ the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

The heartwarming Finding Neverland is a fantastic new musical brought to life by director Diane Paulus (Pippin, the Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and the book by British playwright James Graham. It is the talk of the town and rightfully so.

At the curtains rise, post tinker bell's entrance of course, we are introduced to Mr J.M. Barrie himself (an incredible Matthew Morrison) setting the scene on how his life was before Peter, the boy & the story, entered his life. We see the denouement of a life artificial when Barrie sits in the park and discovers Peter and his family. This naturally turns into a love story betwixt Peter's mother Sylvia (the gorgeous Laura Michelle Kelly) and Barrie. We trace their relationship as the story line progresses of a boy who never wants to grow up and experiences great loss. Sylvia grows sick, so Barrie and his cast perform opening night at the nursery. It concludes the death of a mother and introduces a new guardian in Peter and his brothers lives, Barrie.

Peter (Aiden Gemme) and his siblings give tangible life to the story we all know and love. We see. Peter's story is a story of loss and struggle, which makes the audience reevaluate the depths of one of fairy tale's most beloved characters.

The show is littered with small nods to the original story- the character of Elliot mirrors Smee, a dog that looks like Nana, and allusions to mermaids and Tinkerbell to name a few. But half the fun is finding them yourself!

All the while, the show has spectacle and laughs but most importantly, an honest look on being a grown up, a child and what got lost along the way. You walk in smiling to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre expecting an experience of flight and whimsy and leave having received so much more.

Review By: Brittany Goodwin

Photos By: Carole Rosegg

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