Finding Neverland | Cadillac Palace Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Kevin Kern and Tom Hewitt in Finding Neverland

Kevin Kern and Tom Hewitt in Finding Neverland

Carol Rosegg

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 4 2016
Price: $27-$123
Based on a 2004 film—which in turn was based on a 1998 play—this stage musical tells how J.M. Barrie's friendship with young widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her four sons led to his creation of Peter Pan. In its way, it's a big improvement over the movie—and not just because of the often charming songs by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Celluloid stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet were too picture-perfect to be quite believable as the misfits Barrie and Davies; the leads in the current Equity touring production (Kevin Kern and Christine Dwyer) are no slouches physiognomy-wise, yet they're better able to project the sense of two souls—lost boy, lost girl—in need of connection. What's more, a musical is simply the right mode for a tale so full of whimsy. Both the dancing by choreographer Mia Michaels and the undanced movement by director Diane Paulus are idiosyncratic fun, the effects are beautiful, and the cast exudes an exuberance that's a joy to share. —Tony Adler

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