Review: Finding Neverland

Whether or not you've seen the movie that it's based on, Finding Neverland is well worth going to. It's a spectacular production with beautiful costumes and sets, a heartbreaking storyline, a talented cast of adults and children, and a dog. Seriously, what more could you want?

We were able to get incredible seats through rushing the show. For just $37, I got to sit in the center orchestra, row C! One tip though: Finding Neverland rush only accepts cash. For more tips on how to see Broadway shows inexpensively, check out my blog post.

Finding Neverland is the story of how playwright J.M. Barrie was inspired to write the play, Peter Pan, when he befriended a family with four boys. It deals with love, loss, breaking social norms, and mortality. (I think I just made it sound much darker than it actually is!) As someone who grew up loving Peter Pan, Finding Neverland was the perfect choice for me.

I can't talk about this show without mentioning how truly talented the four little boys in it were. The boys who play the Llewelyn-Davies brothers are all impressive young actors and singers. One of the things I loved about Finding Neverland is that it's not your typical show with children in it; it's much more Les Mis than Annie or Oliver in that the children are there to portray specific characters rather than to simply be children in a musical. 

When Alfie Boe first left Finding Neverland because of medical issues, I was so disappointed but Tony Yazbeck surprised me in the best of ways. He was amazing in the role of the conflicted and imaginative J.M. Barrie and his vocals in songs like "Never Neverland" and "Stronger" were stunning. He brought an intensity to the role that was refreshing, though his Scottish accent wavered at times (but that's coming from someone who lived in Scotland for six months, so perhaps it's unfair). 

With the very talented Tony Yazbeck
I mostly went to see Finding Neverland because one of my best friends in the city is a fan of Laura Michelle Kelly, who plays Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a newly-widowed mother of four. I was not ready for how insanely talented she is. Laura Michelle Kelly reminds me of Laura Osnes in some ways: her voice is clear and beautiful and she has a way of lighting up a room (or rather a stage, I guess). She looked absolutely gorgeous in the period costumes and her tragic storyline broke my heart. "All That Matters" is definitely my favorite song from the show.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Finding Neverland has some amazing dance scenes and some touching intimate scenes. I truly both laughed and cried. (At one point, I turned to Julie, sobbing, and whispered, "Why did you bring me here?") I can't wait to go see the show with my family when they're in the city in August, because I have to introduce them to it. If you're in New York and have the chance to go, definitely take advantage of it before the show closes at the end of August!

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