BWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND Soars Into the Buell Theatre
Finding Neverland is based off the Oscar winning film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. It tells the story of J.M. Barrie (Kevin Kern), a playwright who is seeking inspiration to write his next play. The problem, there are no ideas flowing. One day, in a park in London, Barrie sees four boys playing and they spark his interest. He has forgotten to use his imagination to write. The boys introduce Barrie to their mother Sylvia (Christine Dwyer), and as Barrie's marriage starts to fall to pieces, he grows romantic feelings for Sylvia. All the while, Barrie gets the inspiration to write his next big hit - "Peter Pan."
Finding Neverland soars at Denver Center's Buell Theatre! Kevin Kern is terrific as the "Peter Pan" author, representing a beautiful balance between endearing and kooky. Dwyer brought a sense of light and love to a rather blandly written character. The Llewelyn Davies boys (Ben Krieger, Finn Faulconer, Mitchell Wray, and Jordan Cole) all brought a depth of character far beyond their years. Also, not to be forgotten was Tom Hewitt's dual role as theatre owner Charles Frohman and Captain Hook. Hewitt brought a wonderful level of humor as Frohman and ferocity as Hook, with one of the highlights of the show being the Act I closer, "Stronger."
With a show based on imagination, there should be no boundaries for the creative. And Scott Pask's beautiful Scenic Design does not disappoint. In fact it was only enhanced by the incredible projection design by Jon Driscoll. The use of projection was my favorite part of the production, allowing the audience to journey along into the imaginations of these characters.
The show includes an exciting score and lyrics written by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, book by James Graham, and wacky choreography by Emmy Award winning choreographer Mia Michaels. "Finding Neverland" brings a story to the stage that is full of magic, excitement, and, imagination. A story that instantly takes the audience back to a time when using our imagination was second nature. And in this day and age, I think that is something that a lot of adults may need a reminder of!
Finding Neverland plays at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts through January 1st. For tickets, call 303.893.4100 or visit DenverCenter.org.