I’m told by a company insider that Roger Bart, a Tony winner and star of Broadway’s The Producers and Young Frankenstein, has departed Finding Neverland, the Broadway-bound, Diane Paulus-staged show based on the 2004 Miramax film starring Johnny Depp. The film about Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the family that became the Darlings of his books about the ageless boy, the fairy Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and his gang of pirates aboard the Jolly Roger. The musical is slated to begin performances July 23 at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, following a U.K. tryout and hefty revisions, and run through Sept. 28. If all goes well and audiences think lovely thoughts, a Broadway run is planned for next spring. Harvey Weinstein is lead producer.
The good news for the production is that it will be swapping one Tony winner for another. Bart’s replacement in the role of American theatrical producer Charles Frohman (played in the film by Dustin Hoffman), I’m told, is Michael McGrath, who won a Tony in 2012 for Nice Work If You Can Get It. He was also a Tony nominee for his performance in Mike Nichols‘ production of Spamalot. The amicable parting of ways — at least that’s what I’m told — is over that old standby, “creative differences.”
“Roger is fiercely brilliant,” my source said — as anyone who saw him in either of the earlier shows will agree. McGrath, too, is one of Broadway’s most appealing character actors. In addition to Paulus (Pippin), the show has music by U.K. pop star Gary Barlow (Take That) and choreography by Emmy Award-winner Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance).