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‘Finding Neverland’ at the Fox

2017 May 19
by Susan Asher

If you’re looking to find great theater in Atlanta this weekend, it’s the musical “Finding Neverland.” Yes, the movie was great, and this production is a musical version of the same story about how J.M Barrie came upon the idea and storyline for “Peter Pan.”

If you saw “Finding Neverland” on Broadway or elsewhere during this national tour, there have been a few tweaks since then, making this a wonderful production and so worthy of seeing. I had read earlier reviews of the show, and my guest and I both expected to be bored. Au contraire, we both loved it and thought the acting, singing, and choreography were wonderful. And we both left in tears. Bring tissues.

The show is perfect for adolescents and adults. There are plenty of theatrical stage antics — pirates swing from ship halyards, glittering lighted flakes stream down from the rafters and a real labradoodle puts children to bed — but there’s also loads of talent. The four lost boys are impressive actors and when they sing as a quartet as one of them plays a ukulele, they look and sound like the next superstar pop band.  Their mother, Sylvia (Christine Dwyer) and J.M. Barrie ( Billy Harrigan Tighe) also are wonderful singers. The songs “What You Mean to Me” and the ballad “All that Matters” are standouts.

Book by James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow & Eliot Kennedy, choreography by Mia Michaels, directed by Diane Paulus, “Finding Neverland” runs through Sunday, May 21 at the Fox Theatre.


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