BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The curtain will soon rise on a popular musical in downtown Buffalo. Finding Neverland has taken Broadway by storm, and will now take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.The musical was inspired by the book about Peter Pan.
The show is launching its first national tour and it picked Buffalo as its first stop. There will be ten shows here at Sheas. To put on a production that size takes a lot of moving parts. Orchard Park native Jason Juenker runs the production side of the national tour. He says cast and crew have been working on this for a year and a half. Physically bringing it to Buffalo comes with some challenges.
Juenker said, “Once the tours are up and running, everything is a finely tuned machine. But right now, it’s the first time the the lighting people meet the set people, who are meeting the audio people and just getting everybody to come together is the most challenging.”
14 people travel with the crew, and almost 60 locals are picked up in each city to help run the show. At each stop, they have 16 hours to make the stage come to life. They’ll pick key elements and adapt to different stages across the country
Juenker said , “This tour is going to be seen all over the country . We’re taking it to Japan next summer, something that is created here by the people from Buffalo. I think it’s exciting to kind of push that out there.”
For prospective theater students getting to see this behind the scenes magic happen is a learning experience. Kristen Pszonak, Senior, Eden Junior-Senior High School said, “This has never happened at Shea’s before, so to be able to get more details about it, like I would’ve never known loading in and loading out takes more time the first time. There’s just so many different elements I got to learn about.”
Merrick Allen, a Junior at Eden Junior-Senior High School said, “Buffalo is starting to develop as a musical community and I think it’s wonderful for a lot of kids that love musical theater.”
Opening night is October 7th. For more information you can visit Shea’s website for ticketing information.