Matthew Morrison of 'Glee' to star in 'Finding Neverland' on Broadway

Mr. Schuester lands a Broadway lead: Matthew Morrison will portray J.M. Barrie in 'Finding Neverland'

It's like every "Glee" character's dream, except it's real.

Matthew Morrison will play the lead role of J.M. Barrie in "Finding Neverland," the much-anticipated musical that is set to open in the spring in Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The actor takes over the role from Jeremy Jordan, who starred in the musical's pre-Broadway tryout earlier this year at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts.

Organizers announced on Monday that "Finding Neverland" will officially open on April 15, 2015, with preview performances set to begin on March 15. The new opening date is a week later than the previously announced April 8.

In Morrison, producer Harvey Weinstein has found a bankable star whose association with the Fox series "Glee" could translate to strong box-office pre-sales. Morrison plays high school glee-club director Will Schuester in the popular comedy series, which began its run in 2009.

Morrison last appeared on Broadway in the 2008 revival of "South Pacific" at Lincoln Center. He received a Tony Award nomination three years before that for the musical "The Light in the Piazza."

"Finding Neverland" is based on the 2004 Miramax movie of the same name as well as the play "The Man Who Was Peter Pan" by Allan Knee. Diane Paulus, the artistic director of ART, will stage the musical for Broadway.

The musical has had a somewhat bumpy road to Broadway. It was once scheduled for a run at the La Jolla Playhouse, but the production was abruptly canceled in 2011. With runs in London and ART, the musical has seen a number of revisions and additions to the creative team, including Paulus and playwright James Graham, who has reworked the book for the musical. 

"Finding Neverland" dramatizes the relationship between author J.M. Barrie and the family that would inspire him to create Peter Pan.

Morrison worked on "Finding Neverland" during early workshops of the musical, according to the show's promoters. No other casting for the New York engagement has been announced.

"Glee" is in its final season on Fox.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT 

 

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