Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Ron Irwin
Observer Staff Writer 

'Finding Neverland' the joys of eternal youth at the Pantages Theater

Sheer absurdity of it all and that alone argues compellingly for the very pursuit of Neverland

 

February 26, 2017

Carol Rosegg

Ben Krieger as Peter

We all know about Neverland right? It is that happy mystical place where we can all be children forever. Some might call it Congress while others will take a happier road and revel in the pure joy of imagination and the distinct possibility that there is a place where truly anything can happen.

So when playwright J. M. Barrie [Billy Harrigan Tighe] gets a severe case of writer's block he goes off in pursuit of inspiration and happens upon Neverland. His adventure is sparked as he comes upon four children playing in a lovely London park and he sees in them the joy and possibilities of youth.

As this beautiful theatrical onion is peeled a wide range of the human conditions are exposed and not all are happy. Yet in the end the discovery of Neverland does allow for even the deepest wounds to heal. Along this magical path two truly magnificent and powerful visions present themselves to an enthusiastic audience. One comes at the conclusion of Act One when Captain Hook is introduced and the stage as if by pure magic transforms into a pirate ship at sea as the orchestra builds to an unforgettable crescendo. That one scene alone is well worth the price of admission. But then there is one of the most amazing and gifted young performers on stage today, Ben Krieger as Peter. Ben has clearly found Neverland and there is no doubt but that his future will be brilliant.

Without question there will be some who simply snort at the very notion of Neverland pointing the sheer absurdity of it all and that alone argues compellingly for the very pursuit of Neverland. If one merely allows for the possibility of joy and happiness and employees his or her imagination the truth is one can indeed find Neverland.

Along this path to Neverland love emerges between the mother of the four children playing in the park Sylvia Llewelyn Davies [Christine Dwyer] and J. M. Barrie. But then there is scene very similar to one in the 2001 version of "Moulin Rouge" in which the severe illness and impending death of Satine is revealed by her coughing blood into a handkerchief. But unlike that tragedy in Moulin Rouge in Neverland even greater strength and love evolves because, after all, we have found Neverland.

Clearly "Finding Neverland" is one of the very best shows currently on stage and it does bring an abundance of joy to those who engage. It is suitable for children but not recommended for those under the age of seven. You may enjoy this beautiful work of art right now at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028. Show times are:

Tuesdays through Fridays at 8:00 p.m.

Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

'Finding Neverland' the joys of eternal youth at the Pantages Theater

Reservations may be made at: HollywoodPantages.com or by calling 1-800-982-2787.

If you want to explore a different form of visual art check this out.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/ronirwinart.

 

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