Finding Neverland at the Pantages

Gordon and I stopped at Delphine’s in the W Hotel across the street from the Pantages Theater in Hollywood before the show last night. Traffic had been a nightmare on the way over so I wasn’t surprised that the restaurant wasn’t packed. Everybody was probably stuck on the freeway. We sat at the end of the bar and watched Jeopardy as we ate our steak sandwiches–and I enjoyed my glass of wine. The bartender was impressed that I played the game well that he suggested that I go on the show. So Gordon piped up and said that I’d already been on. So I explained that I came in last but that didn’t seem to bother the bartender. He was impressed that I even got on. I guess even coming in last is still impressive to most people. All in your perspective. We finished up and crossed the street.

Finding Neverland is about James Barrie’s process in writing his play, Peter Pan. The play starts with Barrie trying to come up with an idea for a hit play when he meets some boys in the park. They like to play pirates and cowboys and Indians and Barrie rediscovers his youth. He also falls in love with the boys’ mother, who’s a widow. No spoilers here but even I, the queen of snark, shed tears at the end. The performers were all wonderful although I’d never heard of any of them–yet. The lead actors, Billy Harrigan Tighe and Christine Dwyer, sang incredible duets together. The four boys harmonized together for a particularly wonderful song. I was surprised that such young boys could do so well. The rest of the cast had fun sending up the theater world (“Who’s ever heard of fairies in the theater?” “Well, actually…”–howls from the audience). There was even a great fuzzy dog who got a huge round of applause. I didn’t find the songs memorable but the staging was brilliant. I’m still trying to figure out how they made the Tinkerbell effect that started the show. The first act was a bit slow but the second act made up for it. I’d mention that the show got a standing O–which it did–but that’s become inconsequential. If you don’t fall off the stage out here you get a standing O. But I enjoyed the play.

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About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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