“Finding Neverland” a musical for all ages

Story behind creator of Peter Pan at Boston Opera House through Aug. 20

Billy Harrigan Tighe (left) plays J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan in

Raider Times photo / Courtesy of Carol Rosegg

Billy Harrigan Tighe (left) plays J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan in "Finding Neverland," which is at Boston Opera House through Aug. 20, 2017.

Christine Zhu and Bandna Kaur

   “Finding Neverland,” now playing at the Boston Opera House, is a hilariously entertaining production, a musical for all ages.

    It is a creative take on the story behind Peter Pan, describing how Neverland’s creator, J.M. Barrie, became inspired.

    Originally a serious playwright in London, Mr. Barrie struggled with issues that only adults had. He had deadlines to meet and people to satisfy. With his boss requesting him to write a new play, Mr. Barrie was stuck in a rut and uninspired. Soon after, he met a widow, Sylvia, and her four children.

    Among the four children there was one who stood out, Peter. Mr. Barrie felt that Peter was trying to grow up too soon in order to protect himself from pain. Mr. Barrie then made it his mission to help the child connect with his inner self and along the way, he realized that he needed to rediscover his own personality.

    The plot was heartfelt and innocent. It had the classic theme from Peter Pan that people never grow up, reminding us that all you need is a little imagination and positivity to face even the most serious challenges in life.

    The charming plot was not the only good aspect of the show, the general production was wonderful, too. Every single seat of the Boston Opera House, which is a beautiful and elegant theater, was occupied by a diverse audience on opening night, Aug. 8. From teens sitting alongside their friends to families with grandparents and young children.

    The show was appealing and reached out to a variety of different people. The show was both funny and emotional. Toward the end of the production, it seemed like there was not a single dry eye in the theater. Throughout the show you even got the occasional giggle with jokes that the characters made.

    The soundtrack was fitting with a mixture of pleasant tunes, emotional numbers, and epic pieces. “My Imagination,” originally sung by John Legend for the soundtrack, was featured in the production to give lead actor Billy Harrigan Tighe (Mr. Barrie) an opportunity to show off his talent.

    The live orchestra sounded flawless and added a finishing touch to many scenes. Additionally, the voices of all the actors and actresses were great, making it easy to love the music.

    The set was attractive with interesting features. There were many moving parts and the scene switches were efficient and speedy. You could tell that a lot of time was invested into making the set perfect to give the audience an experience that leaves them in awe.

    The characters were lovable but there was nothing surprising to them. With a little knowledge about Peter Pan, the plot line can be predictable. However, the production is still enjoyable because the exceptional performers and the comedic aspects bring the story to life.

     There were times when the jokes might be too much of a cliché, but the show is meant to be light hearted and fun. The atmosphere is casual and kid-friendly but the production also holds deeper meaning and relevance.

     This show bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood and shows us that it can be a good thing to never grow up.

    Make sure to get tickets to this show while it’s still at Boston Opera House because you won’t want to miss it!

    (“Finding Neverland” is playing at Boston Opera House Aug. 8-20, 2017. For more information, go to http://boston.broadway.com/.)

–Aug. 11, 2017–