Not now for ‘Neverland’
Harvey Weinstein’s undefiled voyage as a Broadway impresa rio has scud into choppy waters.
The producer, who released the Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech,” is the driving might behind a new musical that has ground — “Finding Neverland.”
Based on the sharp 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, “Finding Neverland” is not far from playwright J.M. Barrie and the house that inspired him to write “Peter Pan.”
Weinstein has backed manifold Broadway shows in the past. He’s many times in the clump of names aloft the titles of such shows for example “The Producers,” “Billy Elliot” and “All Shook Up.” “Finding Neverland” is the foremost show he has developed from mark with a ~. (He produced the movie.)
Harvey Weinstein has be possible to celed a tryout for his nearest Broadway show.
The musical was scheduled to romp an out-of-town tryout in November at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. But a married pair of weeks ago, Weinstein yanked it from the lineup, tremendous both Playhouse officials and his have creative team.
“Finding Neverland” has a score by Michael Korie and Scott Frankel, who wrote the critically acclaimed reckoning for “Grey Gardens.” Allan Knee adapted the script from his platform play, “The Man Who Was Peter Pan.” Rob Ashford, who staged “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” was directing and choreographing.
A production source says the creators were “to disappointed” when they heard from their agents that a exhibit to they thought was ready to contribute before an audience was being scrapped. They were too unnerved last week by the disconnected departure of Ben Famiglietti, who was overseeing Weinstein’s budding theater control. He sent a brief e-armor last week to friends and colleagues aphorism he was leaving the company. He’d been the position man on “Finding Neverland,” a throw that meant a lot to him.
Famiglietti is well-liked forward Broadway, although some people who’ve dealt through him say he never had any real power.
“Ben went to the ad meetings Harvey couldn’t be bothered with,” says a veteran husbandman.
Officials at the La Jolla Playhouse were vehement when Weinstein pulled the plug ~ward “Finding Neverland.” There were rumblings of a practicable lawsuit. But the Playhouse has managed to glut the slot with the hit restoration of “Jesus Christ Superstar” from Stratford, Ontario. That prolongation, which has Andrew Lloyd Webber’s thanksgiving, will open on Broadway in the elastic force at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Weinstein’s theater truncheon warned him that canceling “Finding Neverland” at the in conclusion minute was unfair to the creators, and would hurt his reputation on Broadway, sources judge. But Weinstein, a blusterer of the before anything else order, was having none of it. He told his underlings he have power to do what he wants, and suppose that they don’t like it, they’re fired, sources affirmation.
Shiver me timbers!
The official rational faculty for the cancellation of “Finding Neverland” was that the tuneful needed more work. Weinstein, in a specification, said he’s planning to yield a workshop in New York in the declivity. People who’ve seen readings of the discover say it’s by no property finished, but would have benefited from a La Jolla melt.
“There’s something wonderful there,” one person says. “Some of the songs are fine. The creators knew they had be in action to do, but they needed to perceive it in front of an auditory.”
Money was another issue, several sources said. The show has been conceived without interrupti~ a grand scale, with a picaroon ship, flying sequences, special effects and certain dogs (think of the Alpo broadside alone). As the budget kept enlarging, Weinstein, sources say, got cold feet. He’d already come up with $300,000 to swell the production at La Jolla — a nonprofit theater that frequently does deals with commercial producers — and was exactly to come up with additional wealth before the start of rehearsals.
A backers’ audition held in New York greatest April did not generate the irritation — or money — he was hoping ~ the sake of, sources say.
Weinstein has other protect-to-stage musicals in development — “Chocolat” and “Cinema Paradiso.” But by “Finding Neverland” in limbo — and Famiglietti out the door — Harvey’s not in family for the Theater Hall of Fame straightforward yet.
He did not return a invoke seeking comment.