Ever since news broke that Alfie Boe would play JM Barrie in Broadway’s Finding Neverland, expectations from fans have been sky high, So, with Alfie’s opening night this week, our fabulous regular New York reviewer, Roberta, went along to not only the first night, but the following day’s matinee as well. This is her review of the two performances.
Alfie Boe not only flew from Les Miz to Neverland as the headlines read but soared. The role of J. M. Barrie could have been written for Alfie. His youthful exuberance when playing with Peter and his brothers in the park or at the dining room table (great scene) and his caring and tenderness towards their mother exemplify qualities we have all associated with Alfie.
As was expected Alfie’s singing was extraordinary. I had seen this show last year with Matthew Morrison and thought the score was rather bland. I am not sure how he did it but Alfie breathed new life into these songs. They became vital and colourful and you left the theatre humming them. The most impressive and surprising thing about Alfie’s performance in his new role was his mastery of the very complex choreography which dominates act 1. Anyone thinking Alfie has moved into an easier, less exhausting role in Neverland (which included me) from Les Miz is mistaken. Alfie jumps on and off benches, twirls around lamp posts, chases children through a park, is turned upside down and leaps over a park bench landing on his feet all in perfect time to the music on a stage filled with other performers. It is truly amazing to watch him do all this with such pinpoint accuracy while sometimes singing at the same time. All this comes in the first act and Alfie seemed much more relaxed in act 2, developing a nice relationship with Laura Michelle Kelly’s character, Sylvia. The audience even applauded when Barrie and Sylvia finally kiss, although I have to note that they did the same when Matthew Morrison was in the role.
A month ago almost to the day I had watched Alfie as a dying, old man utter the words “to love another person is to see the face of God”. Last night I saw Alfie as an imaginative author creating Peter Pan and becoming the father of four orphan boys. To me this is a truly remarkable transformation and a testimony to Alfie’s skills and abilities. He is truly brilliant in both roles.
Thanks for that great review Roberta, as ever you made me feel as if I was there watching.
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Just saw the show this weekend in New York and now I wish more then ever that I had seen it with Alfie. It definitely is a role for him
Congratulations Alfie,!! thank you Roberta for your great review ,he really is magic !! Please come to London Alfie with Neverland ,in 2017. luv carole n xxx
Thank you, Roberta, for such a lovely review. I’m so glad to hear how well he’s done. It must be daunting to learn so much in a month. Not surprised about his connection with the children as this seems to be a forte of his. I know we probably won’t get to see any video of his singing because they have already released an album but we can dream.
Are there any videos yet of Alfie singing songs from Neverland…I’m dying to hear what he does with them! Hoping to make the trip from Georgia to NYC to see him SOON. Did a really quick trip last October to see him in Les Mis…what memories!!! I’ll remember his performance for the rest of my life!!! 🙂
I saw the matinee yesterday! Alfie’s voice soared! His interaction with the children was electric….I could see the genuine affection in the eyes of the children.
When he sang “Stronger” his voice increased incrementally until it gave me chills and the lady sitting next to me said,”Who IS that?” I was quick to fill her in!
Just as he was BORN to be JVJ, in time the perfectionist in him will make this part fit him like a second skin. He DANCES! (Who said he couldn’t dance?).
The antics on stage left him breathing hard in places, but his operatic training kicked in and his breathing techniques. Carried him through!
Knew Alfie would be a smash in Neverland!! Singing, dancing, romantic lead… Here he goes stretching as a performer again…Can’t wait to see him in this role this summer!! Thanks, Linda.
Thanks to Roberta for such a fantastic review. More than ever I hope Alfie is in it when it comes to London. Definitely want to be there.
Fabulous review. Excited for Alfie. Well done to our New York Reporter. Hope to get to see the show SOON!