Matthew Morrison Returns to Broadway in 'Finding Neverland'
The 'Glee' star will play the lead role of 'Peter Pan' author J.M. Barrie in the long-gestating musical produced by Harvey Weinstein and adapted from the 2004 Miramax movie
The rumors are confirmed: Glee star Matthew Morrison will return to Broadway after a five-year absence, starring as J.M. Barrie in the new musical Finding Neverland.
Based on the 2004 Miramax movie of the same name, which starred Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, and on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan, by Allan Knee, the show will begin previews on March 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with opening night set for April 15.
Producer Harvey Weinstein announced Morrison's casting on Monday, following weeks of speculation. While the lead role had been played by Jeremy Jordan during Finding Neverland's sold-out tryout run this summer at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., that actor's name was conspicuously absent from discussion of the show's move to Broadway in the spring.
Morrison had previously played the role in early New York developmental workshops for the musical's new version, following a complete overhaul of cast, director and key creative team after an earlier incarnation produced in the U.K. in fall 2012.
The show will be directed on Broadway by Tony winner Diane Paulus, known for her hit revivals of Hair, Porgy and Bess and Pippin. Paulus also staged the musical at A.R.T., where she is artistic director. The new book is by James Graham and the score by Gary Barlow, former lead singer of Take That, and English songwriter Eliot Kennedy. Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance) will serve as choreographer.
Finding Neverland tells the story of Scottish playwright Barrie's close friendship with the London family that inspired him to write the beloved children's classic Peter Pan, about the boy who never grew up. While Weinstein has been an investor in numerous Broadway productions since 2000, this will be his first venture as lead producer on a show.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to see Matthew returning to his Broadway roots and back to the role he created in our workshop," said Weinstein. "He is wildly talented and a true leading man."
Morrison was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for his long-running role as Will Schuester on Glee. He made his Broadway debut in 1999 in the musical Footloose, going on to appear in The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way and South Pacific. He received a Tony nomination for best featured actor in a musical in 2005 for The Light in the Piazza.