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Finding Neverland falters with critics

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  • FreemanGriffin
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    Feb 19th, 2012
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    #434575

    Is Finding Neverland this season’s Bullets Over Broadway? Looked great and like it would be a major contender at the Tonys only to be met with less than stellar reviews? Will the mostly negative reviews (at least the 8 that I have read so far; at best two have been mixed and the rest have been very negative – however, I will say that some of the reviews seemed to be angry diatribes against Harvey Weinstein, rather than focusing on the show at hand)… I was thinking Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer would get nominations, but now I don’t think so.

    I thought Finding Neverland would be a real contender, along with Fun Home, Something Rotten!, and The Visit (I wasn’t expecting the glowing reviews for An American In Paris). So where do you all think Finding Neverland will land on Tony nomination day?

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    adamunc
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    #434577

    I’m not sure how great it ever looked. Audiences seem to like it but critics have always been reserved at best. There’s been so much chaos and turnover on the creative team, and that almost never leads to anything other than a cluttered final product. (We don’t have “show doctors” any more like we did back in the day who could come in and clean up a production in trouble; we live in a different era of Broadway producing where even minor changes balloon the budget.) After helming three consecutive Tony-winning revivals, this seems to indicate that director Diane Paulus is perhaps better at reshaping existing material than guiding the creation of anything new. I think we can safely say that she’s out of the running, as are the book and score come nominations morning. (I’m kind of glad that Brantley outed that wretched Cheers joke in his review; that strikes me as the worst sort of audience pandering.) All that said, I don’t think its chances for a Best Musical nomination are completely dead. So much is coming down to how The Visit is received overall. I have to believe that Fun Home, Something Rotten!, and An American in Paris are in at this point. If The Visit ends up being respected for more than just Chita and the last Kander & Ebb score, it’s in. If the nominations committee is as divided as audiences seem to be, then that opens the door for FN. Harvey is still a very smart marketer and I believe he’ll be wise enough to curtail the sledgehammer campaigning strategies he uses for the Oscars, which won’t fly with the Broadway group. At the moment, I’m still leaning slightly toward The Visit because I don’t really see Morrison or Grammer getting into the crowded acting categories and it would be weird for a show to make the Best Musical cut with the cast, director, score, and book missing out.

    Of course, there are always the wild cards of Honeymoon in Vegas and The Last Ship. I really can’t see the latter making the BM lineup, but if The Visit is DOA, the former could. (Though was anyone really all that passionate about it other than Brantley? Seems like the general reaction was polite approval, but that could be enough.)

    And finally, could the last spot end up being a very close race between FN and The Visit so that we get five nominees?

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    Anthony
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    #434578

    The rather muted response to FINDING NEVERLAND is mildly surprising but I never found it to be a slumdunk. I always thought people were overestimating it while underestimating Something Rotten.

    I forget if it was someone on here or over at BroadwayWorld but someone said they could see Neverland following a trajectory similar to that of The Addams Family, where a show gets slaughtered by critics but has enough power in some way and name value to get enough sales to last up to two years or so….I almost expect the same thing. Someone said it could be the next WICKED although I would be floored if it lasts over a decade but I suppose you never know.
     

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    SamEckmann
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    #434579

    “The next Wicked” seems a little much, but this will undoubtedly have a long and healthy run. It is totally critic proof. It has been marketing itself well to family audiences, utilizing the Peter Pan angle, and has two recognizable stars. Nominations or not, this can easily run a couple years and recoup. A decade? Probably not.

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