“In a place so far away
We’ll be young
That’s how we’ll stay
Every wish is a command
We will find ourselves in Never Neverland”
The first time I saw “Finding Neverland” I was a blundering ball of emotional mess. It didn’t help I was running late, which I abhor with a passion. Timeliness is Godliness. It was also close to my sister’s anniversary. So was susceptible to the emotional drivel that sometimes occur even if I am trying to be stoic.
Despite the stressful hours beforehand, I laughed. I cried. I bawled my eyes out. I sang along, thanks to the cast recording AND pop album. It became my favorite musical. I may have developed a slight crush on thee Mister Schuster; Mathew Morrison.
The only thing that maybe could have made that show better, was Kelsey Grammar.
Well flash forward six months and the show has Kelsey Grammar, but no Matthew Morrison, and I am still a ball of sniveling mess.
Oh and I also have a profound girl crush on Laura Michelle Kelly.
When my friend told me she was coming to the city, the first thing I asked was, if she wanted to see a Broadway show. It was a resounding yes, and thus it was left in my Broadway connoisseur hands.
Their are so many to choose from. I knew we could see a new one (still holding out for “Aladdin”) or one I had seen, loved and would eagerly see again. (Their are a few that never get old like fine wine). So I hoped onto Theatermania’s website and looked at the deals and the seats.
I am a bit of a snob when it comes to seats. I have no qualms admitting it. And no I feel no guilt whatsoever about being particular. I have waited months to see a show because the seats weren’t perfect. With the amount of cheddar you pay for a ticket, if I can’t have curbside service with a mani- pedi, you can bet I am at least going to have that view!
Thus I surfed the shows, hunting seating charts, and prices, like I was Sherlock Holmes and a member of the Avenger married into one. Broadway ticket hunting should be a sport, the pressure is on as you buy your tickets hoping it is up to par before someone snatches it and you are left in defeat, or worse balcony seating.
The stars aligned for “Finding Neverland,” and as my “New” favorite (“Lion King” is still my “Old” favorite) I was excited to share it with my friend. I was also equally as excited to see Kelsey Grammar returning to the show after he had taken a few months hiatus.
I will always hold Matthew Morrisson in high esteem, but Tony Yazbeck (On the Town) did a superb job.
Finding Neverland tells the story of playwright J.M. Barrie’s creation of Peter Pan and the Davies family who inspired him.
While I was not a fan of the movie – in my defense I wanted to be, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are two of my favorite actors- the play has captured my heart.
Set in the 1800’s, as a period piece you might think it could be stodgy, but it is far from it. The laughs are plenty with hidden nuances including a reference to Kelsey Grammars’ “Cheers” days.
Seeing it the second time I was able to pick up minute details I had missed from the ensemble cast, that made me laugh even harder during scenes.
The music is buoyant as well as poignant especially when Laura Michelle Kelly sings “All that matters.” The lyrics of the songs take your soul to a place where memories and dreams collide and you wonder why you ever stopped believing.
“Finding Neverland” is a rollercoaster of emotion, but one that has all the highs and never hits a low mark. The themes of following your dreams regardless of what others say, as well as never losing the freedom we innocently have in childhood. It is a concept that is especially relevant now in the world we live in today, as it was in the yesterdays of the story.
The end numbers might leave your mascara running if you forget to wear waterproof, but the cathartic ending leaves you feeling that maybe Neverland really does exist. If not located on a feasible piece of land, but at the very least, mapped onto our own hearts.
Don’t walk, but channel your inner Tinkerbell, and fly to what truly is a Broadway Masterpiece. It may just lead you to discover your own Neverland.