This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending Finding Neverland, a performance that was critically acclaimed by NPR as “the best Broadway musical of the year.” Based on the Academy Award-winning film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland tells the story of J.M. Barrie, the playwright of the original Peter Pan, as well as the touching story of the family who inspired it all.
The captivating and unpredictable tale alternates between scenes of reality in London and inside Mr. Barrie’s child-like imagination, an imagination that really comes alive when Barrie meets Sylvia, who is a widow, and her four sons. With music by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, the audience was entertained and enchanted throughout the musical numbers. There was glitter in the air, amazing choreography, and even Peter flying over the stage at one point (but I don’t want to spoil it all).
The performance, filled with laughter and heart, attracted an audience of all ages. The children in the audience were acknowledged during the show and were encouraged to “never grow up,” while adults in the audience left feeling more youthful and spirited than before they entered the Orpheum’s grand marquee entrance.
I’ve been telling everyone about this fantastic performance. It made me laugh out loud, think (but not too hard), and I will admit—even brought a tear to my eye—as I became immersed in the storyline. For me, this spirited work at the Orpheum brought color and excitement to a cold Minnesota night and reminded us to never forget our inner child.
The last show in Minneapolis was November 5, but you can catch Finding Neverland at the Wharton Center in East Lansing, Michigan from December 12-17, at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, Michigan from February 6-18, and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Marcus Center from February 20-25. For a full schedule of cities and dates, visit findingneverlandthemusical.com.