Jan 31, 2019
Finding Neverland Preview
By Broadway Live INSIDER - Michael J. Miller
Until the age of six, James Barrie played in the shadow of his dashing and gifted older brother, David. Then, on a frigid winter day in 1867, David was killed; he was hit by a fellow ice-skater, fell, and cracked his skull. James’ mother took to her bed, grief stricken beyond reproach. Young James was sent to offer comfort:
“The room was dark, and when I heard the door shut and no sound come from the bed I was afraid, and I stood still. I suppose I was breathing hard, or perhaps I was crying, for after a time I heard a listless voice that had never been listless before say, “Is that you?” I think the tone hurt me, for I made no answer, and then the voice said more anxiously “Is that you?” again. I thought it was my dead brother she was speaking to, and I said in a little lonely voice, “No, Mother, it’s not him, it’s just me.” Then I heard a cry, and my mother turned in bed, and though it was dark I knew she was holding out her arms.” -J. M. Barrie
From that moment on, James worshipped his dead brother with a devotion that was tainted by a streak of jealousy. In another haunting scene from his childhood memories, James comes into his mother’s drawing room wearing a suit of his dead brother’s clothing. The calamity of his brother’s death finds its way into the core of the future author’s greatest writing, as he ponders the notion and affirmation that perhaps a perfect child who dies on the eve of his fourteenth birthday will be spared the degradation of growing up.
It is within this context that one best approach the upcoming Broadway musical FINDING NEVERLAND, which opens at the Lexington Opera House on February 15. How did J. M. Barrie come to conjure up Peter Pan, one of the most enduring characters in the past hundred years?
Set in London at the turn of the century, FINDING NEVERLAND shows playwright J. M. Barrie trapped in an unhappy marriage and with a major case of writer’s block. But then he meets the widow Sylvia Davies and her four sons and finds the inspiration to write the timeless classic.
Nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and two Drama League Awards, including Distinguished Production of a Musical, FINDING NEVERLAND also features dynamic modern choreography from Mia Michaels, who viewers of the popular dance television competition “So You Think You Can Dance” will remember as one of that series’ most innovative artists.
Come and discover the fascinating story of how Peter became Pan in a show TIME magazine heralded as a “spirited, tuneful, nimbly staged delight!”
You’ll be Hooked.