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FINDING NEVERLAND's Harvey Weinstein Challenges Naysaying Michael Riedel to See His Show

After Michael Riedel's column surveying the critical response to the new, Broadway-bound musical FINDING NEVERLAND currently playing at A.R.T., in which he proclaimed the show already "dead in the water", the musical's producer Harvey Weinstein has issued what he calls "The Riedel Challenge".

"Though he was invited to workshops in New York, and to Boston, Michael Riedel never bothered to see Finding Neverland," Weinstein told Deadline's critic Jeremy Gerard this week. "So I fail to understand how he can consider himself an authority on the quality of the show."

Weinstein continued: "I challenge Michael Riedel to get on a plane and go see the show. He can interview the entire audience and ask them what they thought of it. He can conduct his own focus group with the people of Boston. If 80% of the audience doesn't say the show is great, I'll eat crow, but if 80% of the audience does say it's great, he will have to do the same."

Weinstein is offering to pay Riedel's way via Kickstarter if the New York Post won't foot the bill for the writer to see what Weinstein noted is now "the highest grossing production in A.R.T. history".

Check out our Review Roundup for FINDING NEVERLAND to see what all the critics thought of the show!

The world premiere of the musical FINDING NEVERLAND, with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Elliot Kennedy, book by James Graham, directed by Diane Paulus with choreography by Mia Michaels, is presented at A.R.T. by special arrangement with Harvey Weinstein. The production of the new musical began previews on July 23, opened on August 13, and runs through Sunday, September 28, 2014, before heading to Broadway.

In FINDING NEVERLAND, when a playwright meets a widow and her four boys in Kensington Gardens, he embarks on a friendship that inspires one of the most beloved stories of all time. Based on the Miramax film written by David Magee, Finding Neverland follows the real-life relationship between the Llewelyn Davies family and James Matthew Barrie as he writes the revolutionary 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Staged by A.R.T. Artistic DirectorDiane Paulus and with music by U.K. pop sensation Gary Barlow (Take That), this new musical explores the power of imagination to open up new worlds, and the pressures put upon those worlds by the prospect of growing up.

The cast is led by Jeremy Jordan as J.M. Barrie and Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies; withCarolee Carmello as Madame du Maurier, Michael McGrath as Charles Frohman/Captain Hook, Jeanna de Waalas Mary Barrie, Aidan Gemme as Peter, Alex Dreier as Michael, Sawyer Nunes as George, and Hayden Signoretti as Jack. Members of the ensemble are Courtney Balan, Dana Costello, Rory Donovan, Gaelen Gilliland, Thayne Jasperson, Josh Lamon, Cara Massey, Melanie Moore, Mary Page Nance, Stuart Neal, Emma Pfaeffle, Jonathan Ritter, Tyley Ross, Julius Rubio, JC Schuster, Paul Slade Smith, and Ron Todorowski.

The creative team also includes scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, lighting designer Philip Rosenberg, sounddesigner Jonathan Deans, projection designer Gilles Papain, fan designer Daniel Wurtzel, music supervisor David Chase, music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and orchestration by Simon Hale.

Photo Credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

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