Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer are bringing their singing chops to Broadway, starring in the highly-anticipated stage adaption of Finding Neverland.
INSIDE EDITION got a chance to attend the rehearsals for the musical about the creation of “Peter Pan,” at New York’s 42nd Street Studios.
Morrison will star as playwright J.M. Barrie. Since he’s just wrapped playing Mr. Schuester on Glee, he’s finding out just how challenging it is to transition from the screen to the stage.
“On Glee you hear me singing week in and week out but I wasn’t really singing that much,” Morrison explained. “This is probably one of the hardest male characters in the theater today. It’s something. It’s a huge dance role. It’s a huge singing role and a huge acting role and it’s something I’m very excited to do and very scared to do as well.”
Kelsey Grammer is starring alongside Morrison as Hook and Grammer could barely contain his excitement.
“There’s nothing like it. It’s uplifting and emotional. It connects to everybody and every person that ever wanted to be anything will connect to this,” Grammer told INSIDE EDITION.
The musical is based on the 2004 film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet which was produced by Harvey Weinstein, who is also behind the upcoming show.
Weinstein told INSIDE EDITION, “Matthew we knew wanted to return to Broadway, I have a longtime friendship with him…Kelsey, I was an investor in La Cage, I saw how amazing he was and how serious he was and we turned him on to the show.”
Check out the above video to see a sneak peek of the performances from Finding Neverland and don’t forget to watch INSIDE EDITION!
Finding Neverland, the glorious new musical under the visionary direction of Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, will soon arrive on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street). The company just met the press, and BroadwayWorld brings you interviews and a sneak preview below!
Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee, and the play THE MAN WHO WAS PETER PAN by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up – one of the most beloved stories of all time.
Directed by Tony-winner Diane Paulus (PIPPIN, HAIR)with book by Olivier Award -nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow (TAKE THAT) and Grammy Award-winner Eliot Kennedy, choreography by Emmy Award-winner Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance,” Cirque du Soleil‘s Delirium), this new musical, packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs, is a timeless story about the power of imagination… and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.
FEATURING JOHN LEGEND, NICK JONAS, RITA ORA, MATTHEW MORRISON AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
New York, NY (February 26, 2015) – In tandem with the Broadway debut of Weinstein Live Entertainment’s Finding Neverland, with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, Republic Records announces Finding Neverland (Songs from the Musical) to be released on April 21st.
The record will feature marquee artists, such as Rita Ora, reinterpreting songs from the production in addition to contributions by star Matthew Morrison and composer Gary Barlow. Academy Award- and Grammy Award-winner John Legend and superstar Nick Jonas also join the compilation—as officially announced today.
“When I first heard Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy’s bold and exciting music for ‘Finding Neverland,’ I loved the mix of their contemporary sound with this classic and timeless story,” said producer Harvey Weinstein. “This album is a great opportunity to have some of today’s most popular and innovative recording artists help introduce the music to the world.”
“I am always looking for ways the theater can reach a broader audience, and to have all these incredible recording artists re-imagining the songs from our show is thrilling,” said Director Diane Paulus.
Republic Records Executive Vice President and West Coast General Manager Tom Mackay comments, “We’re working together with The Weinstein Company to create a very unique musical companion that will augment the production and expand its influence. It’s a thrilling project.”
This past weekend, Rita Ora, Matthew Morrison, and Gary Barlow took the stage at the Weinstein Company’s legendary pre-Oscar party to perform songs from Finding Neverland for the very first time. They enchanted the entire audience, increasing excitement for the forthcoming release.
More news and information about Finding Neverland (Songs from the Musical) will be released soon!
Based on the Academy Award-winning motion picture by David Magee, and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up – one of the most beloved stories of all time. Starring Matthew Morrison (“Glee,” South Pacific), Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier,” La Cage aux Folles) and Laura Michelle Kelly (Mary Poppins), the production is directed by Tony®-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair)with book by Olivier Award®-nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by multi-award winning singer songwriter Gary Barlow (Take That) and Grammy Award®-winner Eliot Kennedy, choreography by Emmy Award®-winner Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance,” Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium), this new musical, packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs, is a timeless story about the power of imagination… and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up. Finding Neverland begins performances on March 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) with an official opening slated for April 15. For more information, please visit www.FindingNeverlandTheMusical.com.
Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Michelle Kelly, and the stars of Finding Neverland offered the press a sneak peek at the new Broadway musical in their rehearsal studio on February 26. Directed by Diane Paulus, the production begins performances March 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre before opening on April 15.
Featuring a score by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham,Finding Neverland explores the friendship of playwright J.M. Barrie’s and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a widowed mother whose four boys inspired the beloved Peter Panstories. It is based on the 2004 film of the same title, which itself was based on Allan Knee’s play The Man Who Was Peter Pan. The show played a 2014 tryout run atAmerican Repertory Theater.
Morrison leads the cast as Barrie, alongside Kelly as Llewelyn Davies and Grammer as Charles Frohman/Captain Hook. Also featured in the cast are Carolee Carmello, Teal Wicks, Alex Dreier, Aidan Gemme, Jackson DeMott Hill, Noah Hinsdale, Sawyer Nunes, Chris Richards, Hayden Signoretti, Courtney Balan, Dana Costello, Colin Cunliffe, Rory Donovan, Chris Dwan, Kevin Kern, Josh Lamon, Melanie Moore, Mary Page Nance, Fred Odgaard, Emma Pfaeffle, Jonathan Ritter, Tyley Ross, Julius Anthony Rubio, Paul Slade Smith, Ron Todorowski, Jaime Verazin, and Jessica Vosk.
Check out photos of the stars in performance in the gallery.
How do you get to Broadway.com’s NYC offices? Follow the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning! Finding Neverland stars Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, and director Diane Paulus and producer Harvey Weinstein stopped by the website’s headquarters on February 25 to chat about the new musical with the Group Sales team. Featuring music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham, Finding Neverlandfollows J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, who became the inspiration to write Peter Pan. Check out these shots of the magical visit, then see Finding Neverland beginning March 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
And just yesterday, the cast and crew gathered for their final day of shooting. Yes, their absolute last day of filming.
“We just wrapped about an hour ago,” Matthew Morrison exclusively told me late last night at the Weinstein Company’s pre-Oscar party at the Montage in Beverly Hills. “It was a tough day. I’m not going to cry now because I kind of got it all out, but it was a really tough day.”
Morrison sings the final song in the final scene of the series finale. I’m not going to spoil anything by telling you what song, but Morrison said, “It was a beautiful send-off. But it was tough. I was singing to all the kids and Amber Riley starts crying and I’m like, ‘Come on, don’t do this to me right now.’ And then Lea Michele starts crying and then Darren Criss and Chris Colfer.”
Morrison had to rush from the set to get to the Montage to perform a number from his upcoming coming Broadway return, Finding Neverland (more on that later).
“There were a lot of hugs and a lot of tears,” he said, adding, “It’s been an amazing almost seven years.”
The new Broadway musical Finding Neverland, a story about how Peter became Pan, will host an inaugural fundraiser to benefit Alliance To Rescue Victims of Trafficking (ATRVT) March 21.
Alliance To Rescue Victims of Trafficking, a Washington D.C. foundation established to help rescue victims of child sex trafficking, was established in 2014 by author and journalist Conchita Sarnoff, who serves as executive director.
The mission of ATRVT is to “rescue and rehabilitate sex-trafficked victims in North America, to establish the first ‘safe house’ for girls who have been trafficked for sex and to raise awareness for what has been described as ‘the largest slave trade in history.'”
The March 21 benefit event includes a pre-show VIP cocktail reception at New York’s Le Cirque Restaurant (151 E. 58th Street) at 5 PM, followed by transportation to Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 W. 46th St.) for VIP seating at the 8 PM performance of Finding Neverland.
“We are so grateful to the producers of Finding Neverland for graciously hosting this unique inaugural benefit event for the Alliance To Rescue Victims of Trafficking,” said Sarnoff in a statement. “There are currently more than 22.7 million children trafficked for sex globally, and that number continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.
“Recent congressional reports show there are more than 300,000 child sex trafficked victims in the United States alone, and New York and Washington D.C. are the top two cities with the highest concentration of victims in the country. In addition to rescuing and recovering these children, ATRVT is working to establish the first safe home for sex-trafficked girls, ages 6-12, in the metro D.C. area this year.”
The musical, opening April 15, is based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, and follows playwright J.M. Barrie as he summons the courage to become the writer — and the man — he yearns to be.