The show will open in one of the nine Main Stem theaters owned by the Nederlander Organization, although which one has yet to be set. No exact dates or other details have yet been confirmed; the production’s regional tryout at the American Repertory Theater doesn’t open until tonight, with critics weighing in the subsequent days.
Broadway had looked like a near certainty for “Finding Neverland” ever since a song from the show was performed (by Jennifer Hudson, who does not appear in the production) on the 2014 Tony Award telecast — an unusual national promo for a title that hadn’t even started out-of-town performances at the time. Weinstein, the movie mogul with a flair for awards-season jockeying, has served as a producer on prior Broadway productions (“August: Osage County,” “All the Way,” “The Producers”), but “Neverland” is the first on which he has taken the guiding role of lead producer.
The musical adaptation of 2004 film “Finding Neverland” (produced by Weinstein during his tenure at Miramax) has had an unusually roundabout development process. The title bowed in the U.K. with a different creative team, yielding downbeat reviews. Weinstein then tapped a largely new creative team to retool the musical, with Tony winner Diane Paulus (“Porgy and Bess,” “Hair”) on board as director and Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy penning a new score.
Paulus is artistic director of the A.R.T., the Cambridge, Mass. theater where the current run will play through Sept. 28.
“Finding Neverland” has been circling Broadway all summer, with the St. James Theater (owned by Jujamcyn Theaters) considered a likely landing pad until the upcoming revival of “Side Show” snapped it up for its fall opening. Nederlander houses also have been in play lately, with “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Love Letters,” both set for Nederlander buildings, recently opting to swap venues. (“Honeymoon” will now play the Nederlander and “Love Letters” will take the Brooks Atkinson.)
Word of the pact with the Nederlanders leaked out today, first hitting the Internet in the New York Times. Reps for the show confirmed what few details have been nailed down.