Finding Neverland (musical)
Broadway Playbill cover
|Basis||The Man Who Was Peter Pan|
by Allan Knee
and Finding Neverland
by David Magee
2016 US Tour
Finding Neverland is an original musical with music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie and a book by James Graham. Inspired by the 1998 play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee and his 2004 adaptation Finding Neverland, the musical made its world premiere at the Curve Theatre in Leicester in 2012, with the reworked version making its world premiere in 2014 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following completion of its Cambridge run, the production transferred to Broadway in March 2015.
After 17 months on Broadway, the production of Finding Neverland closed on August 21, 2016, and began a US national tour in October 2016.
On 6 February 2011, La Jolla Playhouse, California, announced that they would produce a new stage musical based on the film with the book by Allan Knee, score by Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics), and directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford. A planned production at La Jolla Playhouse was not held. A developmental reading was held in New York on 31 March 2011, with Julian Ovenden, Kelli O'Hara, Tony Roberts, Mary Beth Peil, Michael Cumpsty, and Meredith Patterson, directed by Ashford. The adaptation had its world premiere on 22 September 2012 at Curve in Leicester. Directed by Rob Ashford, it starred Julian Ovenden as J.M Barrie and West End actress Rosalie Craig as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.
On 4 September 2013, it was announced that producer Harvey Weinstein had hired Barry Weissler as executive producer. They planned on opening a revised version of the musical at the American Repertory Theater (ART), Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2014. The revised musical had a new creative team, with Diane Paulus as director, a new book by James Graham, and 22 songs by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, with a few songs from the original composers. A private reading was held in September 2013 with Brian d’Arcy James as Barrie and Jason Alexander as the "nagging theater producer". On February 27 2014, a further developmental workshop was announced for March with Matthew Morrison as Barrie.
The revised production ran at the ART from 23 July 2014 to 28 September 2014, with songs by six-time Ivor Novello Award winner Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, the book by James Graham and choreography by Mia Michaels; ART artistic director Diane Paulus is the director. The full cast and creative team was announced on 2 June 2014, with Jeremy Jordan as Barrie and Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies featured. The cast also includes Michael McGrath as Charles Frohman, Carolee Carmello as Madame du Maurier, Jeanna de Waal as Mary Barrie, Aidan Gemme as Peter, Alex Dreier as Michael, Sawyer Nunes as George and Hayden Signoretti as Jack. Roger Bart who was originally announced for the character of Charles Frohman was replaced by Michael McGrath.
The ART production directed by Diane Paulus moved to Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in March 2015. On 10 November 2014, it was announced that Matthew Morrison would take Jordan's place in the portrayal of J. M. Barrie in the Broadway production. Kelsey Grammer starred as Charles Frohman and Laura Michelle Kelly reprised the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Previews began 15 March 2015, with the official opening on 15 April. The production did not receive any Tony Award nominations. The Broadway production closed on August 21, 2016 after 565 performances.
In early 2016 it was announced that Finding Neverland would open in London in 2017, starring Alfie Boe as J.M. Barrie. The rest of the cast has not been announced. On 15 May 2016, Gary Barlow performed the song "Something About This Night" from the musical for the Queen's 90th birthday celebration, hosted by Ant & Dec. Guest starring was Catherine Jenkins and Dame Shirley Bassey.
The US national tour began in Buffalo, New York on October 7, 2016, prior to the official opening on October 11. The tour was directed by Diane Paulus and featured Kevin Kern as J.M. Barrie, Christine Dwyer as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, Tom Hewitt as Frohman/Hook, Crystal Kellogg, Joanna Glushak, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer, Tyler Patrick Hennessy, Ben Krieger, Eli Tokash and Mitchell Wray.
- J. M. Barrie: The creator of Peter Pan, a Scottish playwright who still has a child inside of him.
- Sylvia Llewelyn Davies: a widow with 4 children whose family inspires Barrie to write Peter Pan.
- Mary Barrie: James' unhappy wife.
- Mrs. du Maurier: Sylvia's strict mother who despises Barrie.
- Charles Frohman: Barrie's friend and the director/producer of the Acting Company that Barrie writes for.
- Captain James Hook: The classic villain from Peter Pan, comes to Barrie in a vision to convince him to add a villain to his show. Played by the same actor as Frohman.
- Peter Llewelyn Davies: One of Sylvia's sons. Loves reading and develops a strong relationship with Barrie.
- Michael Llewelyn Davies: One of Sylvia's sons.
- Jack Llewelyn Davies: One of Sylvia's sons.
- George Llewelyn Davies: One of Sylvia's sons.
- Lord Canaan: A wealthy and pompous man who Frohman tries to get as a fellow producer for the play, ends up with Mary.
- Mr. Cromer: A grumpy yet lovable member of the acting troupe. Plays Michael in "Peter Pan".
- Mr. Henshaw: A vain yet friendly member of the acting troupe. Plays Nana in "Peter Pan".
- Elliott: Frohman's eager assistant.
- Miss Basset: A member of the acting troupe. Plays Nibs in "Peter Pan".
- Miss Jones: A member of the acting troupe. Plays Tootles in "Peter Pan".
- Mr. Turrin: A member of the acting troupe. Plays Captain Hook in "Peter Pan".
- Peter Pan: The titular character of the play, takes Sylvia to Neverland towards the end of the show.
- Wendy (Acting Troupe): The eldest Darling child in the show within a show.
- Albert: Mary's butler.
- Emily: Mary's head maid.
- Porthos: Barrie's dog.
- The Acting Troupe, Servants, Londoners, Pirates, Indians, Lost Boys
Note: Below are the principal casts of all professional major productions.
|Role||Original Leicester Cast
|Original A.R.T. Cast
|Original Broadway Cast
|U.S. National Tour Cast|
|J. M. Barrie||Julian Ovenden||Jeremy Jordan||Matthew Morrison||Kevin Kern |
Billy Harrigan Tighe
|Sylvia Llewelyn Davies||Rosalie Craig||Laura Michelle Kelly||Christine Dwyer |
Lael Van Keuren
|Charles Frohman / James Hook||Oliver Boot||Michael McGrath||Kelsey Grammer||Tom Hewitt |
|Mary Barrie||Clare Foster||Jeanna de Waal||Teal Wicks||Crystal Kellogg |
|Michael Llewelyn Davies||Worrall Courtney
Jon Joe Flynn
|Alex Dreier||Alex Dreier
Tyler Patrick Hennessy
|Jack Llewelyn Davies||Connor Fitzgerald
|Hayden Signoretti||Hayden Signoretti
Christopher Paul Richards
Tyler Patrick Hennessy
|George Llewelyn Davies||Connor Phillips
|Sawyer Nunes||Sawyer Nunes
Jackson Demott Hill
Christopher Paul Richards
|Peter Llewelyn Davies||Theo Fewell
|Aidan Gemme||Aidan Gemme
Jackson Demott Hill
Christopher Paul Richards
|Mrs. du Maurier||Liz Robertson||Carolee Carmello||Joana Glushak |
|Miss Jones||does not appear||Courtney Balan||Lael Van Keuren|
|Captain Hook (Acting Troupe)||Matt Wilman||Rory Donovan||Cameron Bond|
|Miss Bassett||does not appear||Gaelen Gilliland||Jessica Vosk||Victoria Huston-Elem|
|Mr. Cromer||does not appear||Josh Lamon||Matt Wolpe|
|Peter Pan||Michelle Francis||Melanie Moore||Dee Tomasetta|
|Elliot||does not appear||Stuart Neal||Chris Dwan||Thomas Miller|
|Wendy||does not appear||Emma Pfaeffle||Adrianne Chu|
|Lord Cannan†||Edward Lewisd French||Tyley Ross||Noah Plomgren|
|Mr. Henshaw||does not appear||Paul Slade Smith||Dwelvan David|
- In the Leicester production, Lord Cannan was called Lord Griffin and Charles Blount was called Maximilian Blunt. Cut characters include PG Wodehouse (Norman Bowman), Mermaid (Ashley Hale), Scheherazade (Frankie Jenna), Mother (Julia Jupp), Arthur Conan Doyle (Martin Ledwith), Sally (Zoe Rainey), GK Chesteron (Gary Watson), Jerome K. Jerome (Stephen Webb), and David (James Scudamore).
Notable Broadway replacements
- Charles Frohman/Captain Hook: Anthony Warlow, Terrence Mann, Kelsey Grammer, Marc Kudisch
- J.M. Barrie: Tony Yazbeck, Alfie Boe
- Mrs. du Maurier: Sandy Duncan, Sally Ann Triplett
The original Broadway cast recording of Finding Neverland was released on June 23, 2015.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|2015||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Matthew Morrison||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Carolee Carmello||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Production of a Musical||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance||Matthew Morrison||Nominated|
|Astaire Award||Best Choreographer||Mia Michaels||Nominated|
|Best Female Dancer in a Broadway Show||Melanie Moore||Nominated|
- Joel Brown (15 August 2014). "Standout performances elevate ART's 'Finding Neverland'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Staff. "'Finding Neverland' Musical by GREY Gardens Team Ashford Directs Choeographs". BroadwayWorld.com. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Jones, Kenneth. " 'Finding Neverland', With Score by Michael Korie & Scott Frankel, Gets London Presentation; Julian Ovenden Stars" playbill.com, 12 December 2011
- Jones, Kenneth. "'Finding Neverland, the Musical', Gets NYC Presentation With Kelli O'Hara and Julian Ovenden". Playbill.com. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Finding Neverland Musical, Starring Julian Ovenden and Rosalie Craig, Premieres in U.K. Sept. 22". playbill.com. Playbill. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- "Episode 4". The Sound of Musicals. Season 1. 3 December 2013.
- Healy, Patrick. "Weinstein Lands a Big-Name Executive Producer for ‘Finding Neverland’ " The New York Times (artsbeat.blogs), 4 September 2013
- Healy, Patrick (February 27, 2014). "Matthew Morrison to Star in Weinstein's 'Finding Neverland'". The New York Times.
- Hetrick, Adam. "Revised 'Finding Neverland' Musical Will Premiere as Part of American Repertory Theater's 2014-15 Season" playbill.com, 27 March 2014
- "Breaking News: Jeremy Jordan and Laura Michelle Kelly to Lead 'Finding Neverland' Cast; Plus Bart, Carmello & More - Full Cast and Creative Team Announced" broadwayworld.com, Retrieved 4 June 2014
- Bowgen, Philippe. "Tony Winner Swap: Michael McGrath To Replace Roger Bart in A.R.T.'s 'Finding Neverland' Opening July 23" playbill.com, 12 June 2014
- "Jennifer Hudson Will Perform Song from 'Finding Neverland' at the Tony Awards!" broadwayworld.com, Retrieved 4 June 2014
- " 'Finding Neverland' Will Fly to Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre playbill.com, Retrieved November 13, 2014
- "Official: Matthew Morrison Will Return to Broadway in Finding Neverland!" Broadway World, Retrieved November 13, 2014
- "Breaking News: Kelsey Grammer Joins 'Finding Neverland'; Laura Michelle Kelly to Reprise Role on Broadway!" Broadway World, Retrieved November 13, 2014
- Gioia, Michael. "Teal Wicks, Josh Lamon, Jessica Vosk and More Complete Cast of 'Finding Neverland', Starring Matthew Morrison" playbill.com, February 2, 2015
- Gioia, Michael. "Matthew Morrison Is 'Finding Neverland'; Broadway Performances Begin Tonight" playbill.com, March 15, 2015
- Hetrick, Adam. "Broadway’s Finding Neverland to Close — Film Adaptation Planned", Playbill, May 5, 2016
- Gans, Andrew; Hetrick, Adam. " 'Finding Neverland' Ends Broadway Run Today" Playbill, August 21, 2016
- Finding Neverland londontheatre.co.uk
- Gans, Andrew. "Casting Complete for 'Finding Neverland' National Tour" Playbill, September 12, 2016
- Szablewski, John. "Theatre Review: “Finding Neverland” at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre" nytheatreguide.com, October 12, 2016
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2015-07-10). "Anthony Warlow Takes Over For Kelsey Grammer in Finding Neverland on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2015-09-08). "Kelsey Grammer Delays Return to Finding Neverland; Anthony Warlow Extends". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2015-09-18). "Three-Time Tony Nominee Terrence Mann In, Kelsey Grammer Out, in Finding Neverland on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2015-11-19). "Kelsey Grammer Sets Return Date to Finding Neverland, Starring Matthew Morrison, on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- Broadway.com Staff (2016-01-20). "Finding Neverland Hooks Kelsey Grammer for a Little Bit Longer". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
- Dominick, Nora. "Paul Slade Smith Replaced Kelsey Grammer in FINDING NEVERLAND". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- "Marc Kudisch Begins Performances in Finding Neverland on Broadway". Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2016-01-07). "Believe! Tony Yazbeck Will Replace Matthew Morrison in Finding Neverland on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- McPhee, Ryan (2016-02-18). "Finding Neverland Will Soar Back to London in 2017". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2016-02-21). "Alfie Boe Will Replace Tony Yazbeck in Finding Neverland; Sally Ann Triplett Steps In for Sandy Duncan". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2016-02-12). "A Lovely, Wonderful Thought: Sandy Duncan Begins Performances in Finding Neverland on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (2016-02-17). "Sandy Duncan Has Made Premature Exit From Finding Neverland on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Blank, Matthew; Viagas, Robert. "Finding Neverland Original Cast Album Sets Release Date". Playbill. Retrieved December 28, 2018.