Finding Neverland

Magali Nicho, Guest Critic

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The Kravis Center show Finding Neverland is about the story behind the making of the classic children’s novel Peter Pan. It is a remarkable show filled with cheerful and bittersweet moments. The cast and crew put on an amazing performance, and everyone of all ages can enjoy the show and bring out their inner child.

Although the Kravis version’s opening of Finding Neverland was different from the original Broadway show, done with “Welcome to London” instead of “Word Turned Upside Down,” this version was still incredibly well done and most audience members most likely did not notice. Lead actors Billy Harrigan Tighe and Lael Van Keuren put on stunning performances as J.M. Barrie and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Van Keuren put on an astonishing performance during her solo “All That Matters,” and Tighe created a heartwarming character in J.M. Barrie.The ensemble was marvelous and portrayed all of their individual characters spectacularly.

The lighting was extraordinarily done, with images projected on the cyclorama to create more imagery and to build each scene. Everything from the sky to houses, stars, and a skull and crossbones was shown. The sound design was also well done: when you first walk into the theater lobby, you hear playing an instrumental version of the song “Neverland.” A live orchestra performed the musical numbers in the show, and the musicians all did an amazing job of keeping time and meeting their cues.

The blocking and choreographing was amazing, especially in the numbers “Circus of Your Mind” and “What You Mean To Me.” “Circus of Your Mind” included the ensemble cast turning doors while Tighe ran through them. “What You Mean To Me” included beautiful choreography that incorporated the shadows of the actors. There was also impressive blocking in “We Own The Night” when the actors on stage hid under the tablecloths.

Finding Neverland: a remarkable show. Cheerful and bittersweet moments. Amazing performances. Bring out your inner child!

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