As the millennials like to say, “growing up is overrated.” I expect that is also what J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, believed.
“Finding Neverland”, the story of how Barrie created Peter Pan, is coming to Chrysler Hall in Norfolk March 29 – 31. https://www.sevenvenues.com/events/detail/finding-neverland
At 5’3”, Barrie was probably a classic case of arrested development. He was a successful writer and playwright, but his greatest delight was sharing his imagination, weaving magical tales, and acting them out with the children he found on his daily walks in Kensington Gardens.
“Finding Neverland” is the story of Barrie and his relationship with widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her young boys. Barrie meets them in the park. He is inspired by their imaginative play. These were the days long before TV or Xbox. Children used their imaginations to create their own worlds and adventures. Barrie loved it. The boys and Barrie create the world of Neverland, where children have great adventures and never have to grow up.
Ruby Gibbs plays the role of the boy’s mother, Sylvia. Gibbs is only 23. Sylvia is her first big professional role, but she says, “I’ve always felt mature, grounded and full of maternal instincts. I had a great mother, and I draw on her for my inspiration.”
If you saw the movie Finding Neverland, starring Johnny Depp, the musical is much different. “Finding Neverland”, the musical, is lighter, brighter, and “much more magical”. Gibbs says that the musical is “a reminder that even in the darkest times, you can find joy, beauty and happiness.” The focus in this version of “Finding Neverland” is on the boys and their delight in the magical world that J.M. Barrie creates just for them.
The world of Neverland is created on stage, right before your eyes. The choreography is unique. Mia Michaels, who has choreographed for Celine Dion, Madonna, and Cirque du Soleil, choreographed “Finding Neverland”. She is a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. There is a lot of flying and a lot of pixie dust. It wouldn’t be Neverland without flying and pixie dust.
Ruby Gibbs says “Finding Neverland” is “perfect for all ages”, including grownups that are willing to accept their age, grownups that don’t want to grow up and children.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to https://www.sevenvenues.com/events/detail/finding-neverland