The cast of Finding Neverland take flight. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie had a flair for the dramatic. After his Peter Pan made London’s Kensington Gardens famous, Barrie decided to make the fictional resident an actual resident of this urban park. He secretly had a bronze statue of Peter Pan created by Sir George Frampton, then snuck it into Kensington Gardens by night for an exuberant public to discover. By the time Barrie confessed to the prank, public opinion was firmly on the side of keeping the statue – and so it remains in Kensington Gardens to this day.
Finding Neverland, which opens at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis next week, delves into the origins of Peter Pan by way of Barrie’s life. Like Amadeus, it is not, strictly speaking, a historical account; it combines many actual details with some glosses, elisions, and speculations. In the musical, the boundaries between Barrie’s outer world and inner psychology blur, letting characters take explicit shape.
Here’s a look at the musical Finding Neverland and the real-life people who inspired Neverland:
The <em>Twin Cities Arts Reader</em> is an arts and lifestyles magazine whose coverage examines arts and selected activities in the state of Minnesota and across the country. It provides Minnesota's largest source of in-depth, critical theatre coverage, and reaches more than 600,000 readers per year.