Stage review: Splashy ‘Finding Neverland’ flashes between hope and heartbreak

When the lights drop, we understand we’ve discovered Neverland. A dancing light house — the worldwide portrayal of Tinker Bell — beams through the elaborate drape on the Benedum Center phase.

The curtain rises to expose a brilliant scene right out of “Peter Pan” but wait — it’s too quickly. Writer J.M. “James” Barrie discontinues the activity to remind us that this is “Finding Never Land,” about the awful twists and inspirational turns in his life that resulted in the authorship of “Peter Pan.”

Where: Benedum Heart, Down Town

When: Through Sunday. 7:30 p.m. through Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: -; trustarts.org or 412 456 6666

The variant of the 2004 film “Finding Neverland” has embarked on its first nationwide tour. It arrives with the intriguing history in Pittsburgh: a high profile producer and adoring lovers at odds with Tony and critics snubs, supplying play that is enough to fill a show that is new.

The tour, producing its 2nd stay in in Pittsburgh after launch in Buffalo Oct. 7, is big on spectacle and features a a cast of thrilling voices. Kevin Kern as Barrie reprises a character he understudied on Broadway for Matthew Morrison and is matched with Christine Dwyer as the widowed Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the target of Barrie’s tenderness. The Tom Hewitt uses voice and his presence to great effect as both Captain Hook and the theatre impresario Charles Frohman.

The performers playing with the four Davies youngsters managed the feat of looking like any lively, wild youngsters on the one hand and like aged masters when the scenes turned dim.

Therein lies the rub with regards to “Finding Neverland” as family amusement. Darkness and departure in a fairytale are not often unpalatable because “ in “happily actually after, once up on a time” finishes.” It is a musical that needs to be about the qualities of creativity — clap should you feel in fairies. It attempts but doesn’t consistently triumph in getting an optimistic spin on reduction and departure.

The tale of love is dependant on playwright Barrie’s lifestyle, in which his marriage falls apart when a current widow and mom of four boys turns his head. Barrie is inspired to make use of his imagination to calm their despair and, in this, finds his kid exploding to be free of the grownup tyrannies of employment, union and culture.

From these conditions emerges the boy who won’t develop and who is taking because he discovered his approach in 1904 us to Never Land, Peter Pan.

There’s tons of razzle dazzle in Finding Neverland” — the fairy dust is glittery — and complex dance routines choreographed by Mia Michaels. Less apparent but pleasing moments of move and genius contain characters using flight in raises that are balletic that leave wire work not necessary.

James Graham’s publication offers the theoretical model for satisfying pop tracks by Grammy winner Eliot Kennedy and UK recording artist Gary Barlow and additionally allows for minutes, all first-timers at theater.

The conclusion of the lengthy first act functions the massive generation amount “Stronger” — Barrie’s “Defying Gravity” second as the author releases his inner pirate. It’s a show in the heads of Diane Paulus and established designer Scott Pask, who won a Tony for it and restored “Pippin” using the circus.

Here, the sharper, more depressing second act contains the duet “When Your Toes Don’t Contact the Floor,” impactful because of its simplicity and showcasing the remarkable voices of Mr. Kern and 1 2-year old Ben Krieger. Ms. Dwyer, who h AS performed “Wicked’s” Elphaba on Broadway, has a wonderful voice and existence, and she and Mr. Kern have an indisputable onstage chemistry as they play out their relationship to its heartbreaking finish.

As they make an effort to get Barrie’s newfangled views of family amusement characters from Frohman’s disbelieving performing troupe, and the comic relief is provided by indignant servants. There is also a well-educated puppy — the inspiration for the Beloved kids’s Na Na in “Peter Pan” — to generate many properly-gained awwws.

For flash of “Finding Never Land and the sparkle is a top to bottom gifted cast as well as the nature of creativity in over drive.

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