Hook was one of my favorite films growing up. Peter Pan was a close second, and we watched the cartoon Disney version, when my brother was young, on repeat…a lot.
I vaguely remember when Finding Neverland came out in 2004 starring Johnny Depp, and Kate Winslet; The story of J.M. Barrie’s friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. They all met in Kensington Gardens.
I was lucky enough to attend Tuesday’s Broadway version of Finding Neverland. Thanks to my relationship with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend many opening nights of amazing shows at the Straz Center. I’ve always been somewhat of a theatre nerd/fan, so even if a show isn’t the best, I still enjoy the overall experience.
I can honestly say Finding Neverland was THE best Broadway show I have ever seen! I loved everything about it. The story is always a good one. “Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. FINDING NEVERLAND is “far and away the best musical of the year!” (NPR).”
The songs were so fun. I don’t think I’ve purchased the soundtrack to a film, or play since Chicago, but I totally downloaded the soundtrack on iTunes, Wednesday morning. It gives me the feels, and I don’t know all the words yet, but I like to belt them out like I do (I do with most songs, sadly).
The ending was a little sad, and I cried. It doesn’t take much for me to cry, but when I looked over and saw my sister wipe a tear away, I laughed, and she replied, “I’m not a monster!” If we can get her to tear up, we have a winner on our hands.
Finding Neverland is something I think adults, and kiddos alike will enjoy. In the second act, the cast does a great job of subtly including children from the audience.
Find your Neverland in Tampa Bay! You don’t have to travel to Kensington Gardens to discover Peter Pan. Finding Neverland runs until June 4, 2017, at the Straz Center. Tickets begin at $31.00.