Page 70

low dance-contest aficionado whose philosophy is “looks, not books.” In fact, Matilda’s parents hold reading in contempt, and mock their daughter’s passion for books. The youngster finds a mentor in her empathetic teacher, Miss Honey. But Miss Honey, too, is oppressed. Her tormentor is Miss Trunchbull, the horrific headmistress whose motto is “bambinatum est maggitum” (“children are maggots”). Matilda, however, is no helpless victim. “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it / Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it,” she sings in “Naughty,” one of many gleefully subversive songs by musician and comedian Tim Minchin. The story of how Matilda — along with her classmates and Miss Honey — ultimately prevails over adversity is entertaining, irresistible and inspiring. “Matilda is one of those refreshingly smart children’s musicals that doesn’t talk — or sing — down to anyone,” wrote Peter Marks in The Washington Post. The musical, first produced in London, has been showered with awards around the world, including four Tony Awards for the Broadway production. Time named it the No. 1 show of 2013.  Finding Neverland (June 6-11, 2017). Peter Pan has delighted stage and film audiences for generations. And now, the story of how the mischievous (and eternally young) flying boy was created is doing the same.

The musical Finding Neverland explores how Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie was inspired to write Peter Pan by the playtime adventures of four young boys: Jack, George, Michael and Peter. Barrie, suffering from writer’s block and enduring an unhappy marriage to a shallow socialite, meets the boys and is drawn into their world of make-believe. He’s also drawn to their mother, the frail but beautiful widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, in whom he finds an encouraging kindred spirit. Tapping into his inner child, an inspired Barrie tells his colorful producer, Charles Frohman, that he’s working on a new and surprising play. The American impresario replies that he doesn’t particularly like surprises. Nonetheless, he buys into Barrie’s vision and works to secure backers. Peter Pan finally debuts, enchanting highbrow London theatergoers. Although it’s based on the 2004 Johnny Depp movie of the same name, the Broadway version of Finding Neverland is better in almost every way, Richard Zoglin wrote in Time. “It strikes me as the very model of a modern family musical,” Zoglin opined. “It’s briskly told, brightly staged, with a score (by British rocker Gary Barlow) as tuneful as one could expect from a show set in turnof-the-century London that’s not by Gilbert and Sullivan.” 

Event: 2016-17 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season Shows/Dates: Wicked (a season option not included in standard subscriptions), January 11-29, 2017; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, February 7-12, 2017; Disney’s The Little Mermaid, March 7-12, 2017; Matilda — The Musical, May 9-14, 2017; Finding Neverland, June 6-11, 2017 Venue: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: The 2016-17 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season has four regularseason shows and one season option to go. TICKETS: Individual tickets are on sale in November for Disney's The LIttle Mermaid and A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder, and in December for Matilda — The Musical and Finding Neverland. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or noon and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. For groups of 10 or more, email Group Sales at or call 407.455.5550. Sponsored by


artsLife | WINTER 2016

artsLife Winter 2016  
artsLife Winter 2016