- OnStage Associate St. Louis Critic
The tour of “Finding Neverland” is currently running at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis. The charming and tear jerking story behind the creation of ‘Peter Pan’ is a perfect choice for a family. From the young to the young-at-heart, this show is entertaining for all. Be ready to believe and never grow up.
The physicality of the show is top level. The ensemble of dancers climbing and moving over the stage is stunning. I must give a special notice of Kevin Kern (J.M Barrie) and the ensemble dancers during the scene “Hook”. I have not seen so much energy in a number since the last tour of ‘Pippin’. The choreography was created by Mia Michaels and illusions by Paul Kieve.
I enjoy this well written story within a story, and seeing the clever staging (scenic design by Scott Pask) that is used to show the connections between 1900s London and Barrie’s Neverland.
The scenes where Barrie’s imagination would take over were well played and showed how it feels to be a writer trying to figure out the next story. “We Own the Night” is one of my favorite parts of the whole show. References to the ‘Peter Pan’ had the older crowd uttering out loud in acknowledgment. This show has a lot of quotable lines that had everyone laughing and cheering. The use of lighting (Kenneth Posner) to link the two worlds is well played. ‘Tinker Bell’s’ light and the fairy dust effects were jaw dropping and had everyone clapping along. The theatre nerd in me also enjoyed that there was a whole acting troupe that welcomed the Davis Boys into their own Neverland as they prepare to enter Barrie’s.
Standouts in the cast are Christine Dwyer (Sylvia Llewelyn Davis) and Kevin Kern (J.M Barrie). They have a strong chemistry that shone through in all of their scenes together. Dwyer was the doting and loving mother. Her telling number “All That Matters” is powerful. Kern plays ‘Barrie’ so sweetly. He combines the innocence of someone who does not want to grow up with the experience of someone who has suffered a loss. The children who played the Davis Boys were all amazing. “We’re All Made of Stars” was a show stopper.
Over all this is a sweet show with a strong message about the importance of remaining young at heart and the trouble of being stuck never growing up. I would recommend a visit pass the second star on the right and straight on until morning by getting ticket and show information at fabulousfox.com or metrotix.com.
Photo by KSP Images