Since discovering the American Repertory Theater more than two years ago, I’ve seen every show that’s been produced at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square. From the toe-tapping Woody Sez and the enchanting Pippin to the unforgettable The Glass Menagerie and the riveting All the Way—and so much in between–I’ve never seen a play at the A.R.T. that I didn’t love. And Finding Neverland, which runs through September 28, is no exception.
I was a huge fan of the Finding Neverland movie with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that came out a decade ago, so I was really excited when I heard the A.R.T. was putting this on. And while some parts of the live play were quite true to the film, the A.R.T. put its own magical touch on the story with gorgeous music, an incredible set and a talented cast.
Image courtesy of Evgenia Eliseeva/American Repertory Theater.
Finding Neverland tells the story of Scottish writer J.M. Barrie as he struggles to write his next great play, cope with his failing marriage and navigate the world of the Llewelyn Davies family. After a chance meeting in a park, widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her four sons become the inspiration for Barrie’s most famous work, Peter Pan.
A sort of play within a play, Finding Neverland is both laugh-out-loud funny and heart-wrenchingly sad. The A.R.T. captures these emotions perfectly through top-notch performances by every member of the cast–including the actors playing dogs, a captivating set that transforms throughout the show and music that sets just the right tone.
As with most of the shows I’ve seen at the A.R.T., I was sad when Finding Neverland ended, but so glad I’d had the chance to see it. It’s being performed throughout September and I highly recommend getting tickets before Finding Neverland heads to Broadway this spring.
Cover image courtesy of Evgenia Eliseeva/American Repertory Theater.