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Harris Center to Feature The National Tour Of FINDING NEVERLAND


Harris Center to Feature The National Tour Of FINDING NEVERLAND

Based on the Academy Award winning film, Finding Neverland is the timeless story behind one of the world's most beloved characters - Peter Pan - and how he was born from the sheer power of J.M. Barrie's imagination. With "pixie-dusted perfection" (Entertainment Weekly), Finding Neverland follows the playwright and his introduction to four Young Brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys' enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play-and his classic tale springs to life.

The national tour of Finding Neverland will stop in Folsom for five performances; two actors with roots in the capital region will be in the cast: Allison Lian (Swing, understudy for Wendy, understudy for Peter Pan) has lived in both Sacramento and Truckee. Spenser Micetich (Ensemble, Mr. Cromer, understudy for Frohman/Hook) is from Woodland, CA. Pictures available for both by request.

Finding Neverland comes to Folsom for five shows Friday, October 26, 2018, 7:30 pm; Saturday, October 27, 2 and 7:30 pm; and Sunday, October 28, 1 and 6:30 pm. Tickets are $48-$83, Premium $92; 10% Discount for Sunday evening single tickets. They are available online at or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Peter Pan has been shown on television, was made into a famous 1953 full-length animated Walt Disney film, and been made into three other movies: Peter Pan in 1924, the Steven Spielberg version, Hook in 1992, and most recently, Peter Pan in 2003. And while Finding Neverland was "far and away the best musical of the year!" (National Public Radio), it is a perennial question: why is Peter Pan still so popular all over the world? Perhaps because it speaks to the smallest child with its spectacle and fantasy, especially the thrill of flying. Older children relate to the characters that are their own ages, and to the great adventures Peter and his friends share with Captain Hook and the pirates. Adults enjoy Peter Pan because it rekindles the magic of the first time they saw it as children, as well as for the wistful theme borne from a desire never to grow up.

But it all began when the character of Peter Pan was first mentioned in a 1902 book by Sir James M. Barrie (he was knighted in 1913) entitled The Little White Bird. In 1906, the section of The Little White Bird that originated Peter Pan was published separately as a book called Peter Pan in Kensington Garden. Then in 1911, Barrie turned his popular play Peter Pan into a novel called Peter and Wendy.

James Barrie never had his own children (one of the reasons his marriage to actress, Mary Ansell ended in divorce), but spent a great deal of time playing with the children of his good friends, Sylvia and Arthur Llewelyn Davies. He loved to create skits for the children's entertainment. It was while writing and acting out skits with the Davies children that Barrie developed the characters and plot he would use in the writing of the full-length play version of "Peter Pan."

Barrie also drew his inspiration from the boys' parents. He modeled Mr. Darling after the young lawyer, Arthur Llewelyn Davies. Mrs. Darling was based on the refined, nurturing mother Sylvia Davies.

After Sylvia and Arthur's early deaths, Barrie adopted their five boys. Wendy, who was modeled after a young girl name Margaret Henley, had died at a very early age. The name Wendy originated from Margaret calling Barrie her "Friendy" which, when you add a lisp, comes out "Fwendy" - thus, we have Wendy.

Despite the quality and originality of the play as he had written it, Barrie still had a hard time getting it produced. Unlike today, plays in 1904 usually did not have special effects like flying and major scene changes. English producer Charles Frohman finally agreed to produce the play, casting one of England's most popular actresses, 37-year-old Nina Boucicault as Peter. Nina's brother, Dion Boucicault, directed the first production, giving the cast only a few pages of script at a time. He was a perfectionist as a director, often having cast and crew rehearse up to 15-18 hours at a time.

Even with its major technical requirements and unique plot and characters, "Peter Pan" was a great success. It was a big hit throughout England and then in the United States in 1905, with famed actress, Maude Adams, performing the lead to great critical acclaim.

Finding Neverland is 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 is 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, and choreography by Emmy Award-winner Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance, Cirque du Soleil's Delirium), this new musical is a timeless story about the power of imagination... and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.

The production features scenic design by Tony Award-winner Scott Pask (Pippin, Book of Mormon), lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Pippin), costume design by Suttirat Larlarb (Of Mice and Men), sound design by Tony Award-nominee Jonathan Deans (Pippin, La Cage aux Folles), hair and make-up design by Richard Mawbey, projection design by Jon Driscoll, music supervision by Fred Lassen, musical direction by Ryan Cantwell and casting by Stewart/Whitley.

In 1929, Barrie presented all rights to Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, which continues to receive income from all of the various productions mounted all over the world.

This Year Marks Seven Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting more than 150,000 annually.

Tickets are available online at or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

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