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Perez Reviews: Finding Neverland

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

Finding Neverland fails to take flight - figuratively AND literally.

Harvey Weinstein made a bold and inspiring choice in hiring director Diane Paulus to helm his first Broadway musical as a lead producer.

Unfortunately, Paulus' own genius is to blame for Finding Neverland's lack of pixie dust.

Paulus - a multiple Tony Award winner - is known for her visionary productions. The recent and inspired revivals of Pippin, Porgy & Bess and Hair are all her genius creations.

Paulus has set the bar high. Exceptionally high! And in Finding Neverland she does not reach her usual level of brilliance, sadly.

This production is good but not great. We liked it but didn't LOVE the show.

For a musical about the creation of and featuring Peter Pan, one would expect flying and all sorts of theatrical razzle dazzle. Those moments of wonder and awe are few and fleeting, though.

This Finding Neverland feels confused. It wants to be Wicked but it can't. The central themes of this show - love and death - are pretty dark and Finding Neverland is definitely made for adults.

The scenic design, by Scott Pask, was fine but far from great. Same for the costumes, by Suttirat Anne Larlarb.

The songs, by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, are hit and miss. Some, like Circus Of Your Mind, are outstanding. But most are just fine.

The best thing about Finding Neverland, however, is the casting. Both Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer shine in their roles. If only they had been given better everything to work with!

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