Tony nominee and Glee star Matthew Morrison is to star in an industry-only workshop of Finding Neverland in New York in late March. According to the New York Times, Morrison is also in talks about headlining the musical at Boston’s American Repertory Theater in late summer before a potential West End or Broadway transfer. The Daily Mail reports that he will play opposite Main Stem vet Laura Michelle Kelly.
The Harvey Weinstein produced tuner overhauled its entire creative team in 2013, bringing on board A.R.T artistic director Diane Paulus, composer Gary Barlow and playwright James Graham. Brian d’Arcy James and Kelly (Mary Poppins) led a workshop of the show last August, which also starred Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) and Kathleen Chalfant (Wit), retaining three of the original songs composed by former songwriting team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie (Grey Gardens).
Finding Neverland follows the story of Barrie (Morrison) and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kelly). Llewelyn Davies' children eventually became Barrie's inspiration to write Peter Pan.
Finding Neverland made its world premiere at Leicester's Curve Theatre in September 2012 after canceling its fall 2011 debut at La Jolla Playhouse. That production featured direction by Rob Ashford, musical by Frankel and Korie and a book by the film’s screenwriter Allan Knee. At the time, the show was aiming for a West End run in 2013, but after mixed reviews and backstage turmoil, the production sought a new creative team and a complete overhaul.
Paulus, a 2013 Tony Award winner, previously premiered her last two Tony-winning musical revivals (Porgy and Bess and Pippin) at A.R.T. Morrison received a Tony nod for originating the role of Fabrizio in The Light at the Piazza. He also appeared in the Broadway productions of South Pacific, Hairspray, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Footloose and The Rocky Horror Show. Since leaving the Great White Way, Morrison has starred on the FOX hit Glee as the team’s coach Will Schuester (Emmy nomination).