Theatre Review: Neverland Was Found In Dallas With “Finding Neverland”

“From the first moments that the curtains open, we are treated to a visually stunning set that morphs as the play continues seamlessly.”


 

“Finding Neverland” tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan.

The Broadway hit, “Finding Neverland,” can only be summarized in one word. It is an experience. An experience in sound, staging, and acting like theatre has never experienced before, and the Dallas touring production at the AT&T Performing Arts Center is no exception.

Based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, this breathtaking show follows playwright J.M. Barrie as he summons the courage to become the writer – and the man – he yearns to be. Barrie finds the inspiration he’s been missing when he meets the beautiful widow Sylvia and her four young sons: Jack, George, Michael, and Peter.

Delighted by the boys’ hilarious escapades, Barrie conjures the magical world of Neverland and writes a play unlike any the high-society London theatergoers have ever seen.

From the first moments that the curtains open, we are treated to a visually stunning set that morphs as the play continues seamlessly. The genius stage designers left nothing to chance in this show, and any audience member will walk away feeling like they saw brilliance in theatre form. Avoiding spoilers, the scene at the end with the glitter, left the audience in rapture and tears that continued well on even after the show had concluded.

The only other moment that could hold a candle to Christine Dwyers’ moments as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, would be the show runner Billy Harrigan Tighe and his showstopper number, Stronger. The acting, the vocals, and most importantly the staging, were so energetic that the audience jumped to their feet in applause the moment the song had concluded.

Everything about this show was perfect, except the sound. The first half of the show was difficult to hear. Winspear has a history of being muffled in its sound, but there were many times that the speaking parts of the actors were lost and difficult to hear. It was mostly fixed by the second half, but there were still moments that were so quiet that the background music overpowered the vocals and it felt off balance.

The annoyance of the sound though was easy to ignore with the visual feast that is presented to you at every other moment of the show.

This show deserves every star it got; it had me flying off to Neverland with them.

Performing at the Winspear Opera House July 11 – 23

Ally Harrison

Ally is a Dallas native and art lover that has been active in the theatre and opera scene for over fifteen years. She is currently studying arts and performance with a concentration of theatre at the University of Texas at Dallas and does small productions throughout the year in the local drama community. She started performing at age 8 and has travelled all over the globe performing for presidents, ambassadors, and royalty. Now, she enjoys a more quiet life with her fiancé and cat and hopes to transition her skills into teaching high school theatre.

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