Last week, Emily and I went on another adventure. We traveled the roads of our founding fathers in Boston. We walked the Freedom Trail, saw the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s house, the U.S.S. Constitution, Bunker Hill, Boston Commons, and then traveled to Concord where we visited Walden Pond and Orchard House. And while each of these places was incredible, the most magical place we found was in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was Neverland.
We didn’t actually go to Neverland, sadly, but while we were in Boston we saw the new musical Finding Neverland at the A.R.T. Theater in Cambridge. Finding Neverland is a musical based on the movie of the same name and the play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan” by Allan Knee. It stars Jeremy Jordan (Jack Kelly In “Newsies”, Jimmy in SMASH, Clyde Barrow in “Bonnie and Clyde”) as J.M. Barrie, the man who wrote Peter Pan.
The play begins with Barrie in the midst of writer’s block. His well of inspiration has run dry until he meets the widowed mother of four boys, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, played by Laura Michelle Kelly (Galadriel in “The Lord of the Rings Musical”, Mary Poppins in the Broadway musical). With Sylvia and the four boys, James Barrie finds an outlet for his childlike imagination, playing pretend and spending more time with their family than his own. But after fighting through writer’s block, personal issues, and tragic events, Barrie finds the inspiration around him and within him to write one of the most beloved stories of all time.
Finding Neverland is one of my favorite movies, and now it is one of my favorite musicals. Jeremy Jordan and Laura Michelle Kelly were both incredible in their roles, and the supporting cast was hilarious and talented. The songs were fun, beautiful, and very emotional. “Neverland” is a magical song, transporting the audience to Barrie’s wondrous island. A song about Captain Hook displays a fresh side of Barrie, and a song for Sylvia gives the story a hopeful message. And of course, you can’t go wrong with this story. A man, who is still a child at heart, searching for inspiration in what can be a cold, adult world. A boy struggling to see the wonder of childhood after enduring tragic events. And, of course, the creation of a boy who would never grow old, a tiny fairy, some lost boys, and a place called Neverland.
I wish I could watch this musical over and over again. Rumors are that it’s heading to Broadway, which would be amazing. But for now, I’m glad I saw it in a small and intimate environment. Emily and I sat front row, and we could see every emotion on the actors’ faces. I have to admit, I cried more than once. And when I say ‘cried’, I mean ‘sobbed’. It was an incredible story told beautifully. And if you are in the area, or even across the world, I would highly recommend seeing it.