Harvey Weinstein Talks 'Doing Theatre', FINDING NEVERLAND and More
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On discovering musical theatre: "When I was a kid, my mom and dad took me to see 'The Sound of Music' and the minute the nuns came on...and I just flew [makes a whooshing sound] out of the theater. And my dad kind of had a sense that I was going to Bond, and he found me two hours later in the balcony of the Rivoli. Ironically enough, when he died, I rediscovered musicals. Three days after the funeral, I just didn't know what to do with myself; I was so crazy. And I went to the Regency Theater in New York, which used to show old movies, and I saw a double bill of 'American in Paris' and 'Singin' in the Rain.' That's when I just said, 'Wow, this is amazing.' I had studied film, but never musicals. Maybe I needed to escape, and I saw how artistically [Vincente] Minnelli, Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen could transport you into another world. And then I fell in love with 'Chicago'."
On learning about theatre: "I would always say to Diane [Paulus, the 'Finding Neverland' director]...'Let's do this, like Bergman did in "Smiles of a Summer Night".' And she'd say, 'Do something with theater'." That was music to my ears, because I read every book. I read the Meryle Secrest book [about Stephen Sondheim], the Richard Rodgers. I read Alan Jay Lerner's autobiography, 'The Street Where You Live.' I read the Fosse by Sam Wasson, I read the Fosse by Martin Gottfried. When someone tells me, 'Do the research,' I do it. Now I can talk about theater, to some degree.
On his wife suggesting Kelsey Grammer for FINDING NEVERLAND: "Just his gravitas. I think she was watching 'Frasier' and said, 'Wow, this guy commands the room.'"
Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee, and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, FINDING NEVERLAND follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up - one of the most beloved stories of all time. Directed by Tony-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair) with book by Olivier Award-nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow(Take That) and Grammy Award-winner Eliot Kennedy, choreography by Emmy Award-winnerMia Michaels ("So You Think You Can Dance," Cirque du Soleil's Delirium), this new musical, packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs, is a timeless story about the power of imagination... and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride