Ray's Review: Finding Neverland

If you are looking for a little bit of magic in Houston this week, then look no further than The Hobby Center as they bring to town the delightful musical Finding Neverland! This whimsical tale tells the story of playwright J. M. Barrie and how he came to write the story Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Based loosely on the movie of the same name we find a distraught James trying desperately to come up with a new play only to continue to spew out the same old drivel when one day while at the park he runs into women and her four young boys who over time remind him why he became a writer in the first place and who give him the inspiration  behind the story we know and love, Peter Pan. 

I need to start off by saying, I wasn't a huge fan of the film. While it may have a more accurate depiction of the story, it is very dark, slow, and well, depressing. However, if you take a story like that and give it a broadway twist, then suddenly the entire story takes on a wonderful new life that people of all ages are sure to enjoy. The musical production brings in much more humor and whimsy to the story and even makes its tough ending seeing not so devastating (I mean glitter makes everything better on the stage). The sets are not over the top, but still with the use of projectors make the scenes come alive. Whether we are strolling through Kensington Gardens or walking the streets of London at night, the show really brings these locations to life.  The cast is wonderful, to say the least. From our hero, James played by Billy Harrigan Tighe, to the delightful Christine Dwyer who plays Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, to the young boys who really light up the stage in the roles of Peter, Michael, George, and Jack. You will have a hard time keeping the smile off your face while watching. 

You definitely will not want to miss this show. It is only in Houston for a very short engagement, playing through April 30th, but I promise you will enjoy this one. Expect to laugh and smile through the first and second acts and then to be just plain dazzled by the grand finale. Everything there is to love about musicals and broadway is laid out here for you to enjoy. Pack up the family and make your way to London via The Hobby Center and feast your eyes upon Finding Neverland!

Tickets for FINDING NEVERLAND begin at $30 and are available by phone (800) 982-2787; online www.BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com or www.TheHobbyCenter.org; the Hobby Center Box Office (800 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002); and all Ticketmaster outlets. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, please call 888-451-5986 or send an e-mail to houston.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

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