Photo by Carol Rosegg
In Finding Neverland, Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie is suffering from writer’s block and enduring an unhappy marriage to a shallow socialite. But he's inspired to write Peter Pan after meeting a frail but beautiful widow, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and her three imaginative sons.
ter, is fascinated by humans, and wants to pursue the handsome Prince Eric — whom she had previously saved from drowning — on terra firma. So she bargains with Ursula, the evil sea witch, to trade her tail for legs. Ursula, Triton’s sister and his sworn nemesis, agrees to turn Ariel into a human for three days, during which time she must win a kiss of true love from Eric. If she succeeds, the transformation will become permanent; if she fails, Ursula will claim her soul. And there’s more: The mermaid must surrender her voice, which is transferred to Ursula’s magic nautilus shell. Undaunted, Ariel signs the agreement and swims to the surface. Not surprisingly, complications ensue, and she needs the help of Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to win Eric’s heart — and to thwart Ursula’s schemes. The show, produced by the acclaimed
Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, features such familiar songs as “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl,” along with new tunes by Oscar-winning Disney composer Alan Menken. The staging is also spectacular, with underwater effects that make cast members appear to float above the stage as if swimming underwater. Matilda — The Musical (May 9-14, 2017). One of the most beloved family musicals in years, Matilda — The Musical is based on Roald Dahl’s novel about a precocious English girl, Matilda Wormwood, who’s treated poorly at home and school. But she decides to use her intellectual gifts — which include telekinesis — to take a stand and change her destiny. Matilda’s dad is a shady used-car salesman who refers to her as “boy,” since he wanted another son. Her mother is a shalWINTER 2016 | artsLife