CULTURE MONSTER

'Finding Neverland' to perform at Tony Awards despite zero nominations

.@TheTonyAwards to include @NeverlandBroadway performance by @Matt_Morrison and @KelseyGrammer

"Finding Neverland" came up with a big fat zero when the Tony Award nominations were announced in April, but the blockbuster musical's complete shut-out won't stop producer Harvey Weinstein from making his presence felt on Tony night on Sunday.

Organizers of the Tonys announced on Wednesday that "Finding Neverland" will be among the shows to perform live at the annual ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer will perform the number "Stronger" from the musical, which is partly based on the 2004 Miramax movie of the same name.

Other shows slated to perform at the Tonys include nominees for musical and musical revival, as well as "Gigi," with star Vanessa Hudgens, and "It Shoulda Been You." The cast of "Jersey Boys" will also perform to mark the jukebox musical's 10th anniversary on Broadway.

"Finding Neverland" was one of the most eagerly anticipated titles of the Broadway season, having been in development for years. The musical tells the story of writer J.M. Barrie and how he was inspired to create "Peter Pan."

The show had a bumpy road to New York -- the storyline was overhauled following its London run and Weinstein had a falling out with the show's publicist, Rick Miramontez.

New York critics were lukewarm about "Finding Neverland" and the show failed to secure any Tony nods -- a snub that some industry watchers interpreted as a slight to Weinstein, who is marking his first go as a major Broadway producer.

"Finding Neverland" has been drawing impressive crowds since it opened in April at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. But many are wondering how long it will take the show to recoup its investment, which is estimated to be in excess of $20 million.

At last year's Tony ceremony, Weinstein secured a performance spot for "Finding Neverland" even though the musical hadn't even opened at that time. Jennifer Hudson took to the stage to sing a number from the musical, despite the fact that she isn't part of the show's cast.

Performance spots at the Tonys are seen as valuable marketing opportunities for Broadway shows, reaching millions of TV viewers and potential ticket buyers. But the show's producers are often on the hook to pay for mounting the brief performances.

The Tonys will air Sunday on CBS at 8 p.m. ET, with a delay for the west coast.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
63°