Broadway’s Finding Neverland Explores a Different Side to Magical Story of Peter Pan

by Britni Rachal on January 8, 2018 in Entertainment, Theatre, Living Texas, Austin,

Have you ever wondered who inspired the classic story of Peter Pan?

Finding Neverland is the first Broadway play to make a stop in Austin for the new year. Following the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or “the boy who wouldn’t grow up,” the play gives insight into the magical making of Peter Pan.

The production is based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee

The Cast of Finding Neverland, which runs Jan 16—21 at Bass Concert Hall in Austin.
Photo Jeremy Daniel

Prior to the show’s opening at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall we chatted with Thomas Miller, who is from the Woodlands, and plays the role of Elliot in the play.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about your role and character in the production?
I play Elliot, the frazzled stage manager of Peter Pan. He has lots of physical comedy and many silly moments as he and the theatre producer, Charles Frohman, try to put on the play.

The Llewelyn Davies boys played by Colin Wheeler, Turner Birthisel, Bergman Freedman and Wyatt Cirbus, with Sammy, in Finding Neverland. Photo Jeremy Daniel

The play centers around Peter Pan’s story, but how different is it from that traditional Peter Pan play? Without giving too much away, are there any surprises for this storyline that you think the audience will enjoy?
Finding Neverland is a very magical musical with something for people of all ages. The story begins before Peter Pan ever existed with J.M Barrie—a London playwright in 1903 struggling to find inspiration. He runs into the Llewelyn Davies family in the park and the boys inspire him to see the world through the eyes of a child and pen something completely brand new. Throughout our musical, there are many surprises along the way. The audience will get exciting glimpses of Neverland with pirates, mermaids and more! This show is smart about interweaving beautiful Neverland magic into the dramatic, true story that took place in J.M. Barrie’s life.

Billy Harrigan Tighe and John Davidson in Finding Neverland. Photo Jeremy Daniel

Do you have a favorite scene or song in the musical? What about a favorite prop?
You will notice my character has a complex relationship with chairs in this musical. It is a lot to juggle for this budding stage manager and quite hilarious how many I end up carrying. So I guess they are my favorite props! My favorite song is “Stronger” right before intermission. It will leave the audience speechless with an exciting scene on the high seas and cannon blasts in the music!

You grew up in the Woodlands and graduated from Texas State. How have your Texas roots shaped your career?
I am so excited to perform for a Texas audience again! I graduated only about two years ago, but I have missed Texas so much! I miss the spirit of generosity and hospitality that lives in Texas. My love for the Hill Country is something I take with me everywhere.

And lastly, why should Texas Lifestyle Magazine readers come and see a fellow Texan in Finding Neverland?
You will fall in love with Finding Neverland just like I have. I think it is important support this musical because it is so family oriented and has an incredible message for you all! It will have you feeling like you can fly again and encourage you to believe in the impossible.


Finding Neverland runs Jan. 16 – 21 at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin. Tickets start at $30.

Cover: Christine Dwyer as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in Finding Neverland. Photo Jeremy Daniel