BWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND Flies into California Musical Theatre
Fans of Peter Pan will be thrilled to know that Finding Neverland, the Drama Desk Award-nominated Broadway musical, has arrived in Sacramento! Based upon the play, The Man Who Was Peter Pan, and the Academy Award-winning movie, Finding Neverland, the story follows the perennial young-at-heart J.M. Barrie on his journey to write one of the most beloved stories of all time.
Parts history lesson, fantasy, and the requisite love story, Finding Neverland is essentially a testament to the wonders of the human imagination and a call to all grown ups to find their inner Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie is portrayed flawlessly by Will Ray, who is consistently admonished by his peers for not acting mature enough. Finding his muse in the Llewelyn Davies boys is a stroke of luck for Barrie (and the world of literature), who is in desperate need of inspiration and under pressure to write the next big play. As his relationship with the boys and their mother blossoms, so does Barrie.
Ray makes Barrie inherently likable. He is whimsical, not immature. Creative, not childlike. In awe of the world around him, not naive. His strong vocal background comes through in numbers such as "My Imagination," "Neverland," and "When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground."
Creative projections and scenic design by Scott Pask and a jewel-toned lighting theme by Kenneth Posner (both of Pippin) enhance the feeling of fantasy and make for some truly awe-inspiring scenes. "Hook" is not to be missed and, in a stronger second act, what may be sad is mitigated by the pure magic of the special effects.
Break out the pixie dust and fly, for Finding Neverland is only at California Musical Theatre through April 15. Tickets may be purchased at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office at 1419 H St., Sacramento or by calling (916) 557-1999, at the Community Center Theater Box Office at 1301 L St., Sacramento or by calling (916) 808-5181, or by visiting online at Tickets.com.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel