Peter Pan flies again; Something Rotten! was anything but! Our last day at the Spring Road Conference 2015

Finding Neverland was one of the highlights of our trip to New York.
Finding Neverland was one of the highlights of our trip to New York.

Our final day at The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference had us in tears – and that was before we even saw FINDING NEVERLAND.

It’s always hard to leave our friends, old and new. So the last few hours we spend with our industry colleagues at this yearly Broadway conference are always a little, sniff, sniff, bittersweet.

The annual conference went out with a bang on Thursday. One special guest after another graced the stage of New York’s historic Hudson Theatre, where the conference was held.

The day included an appearance from the star-studded cast and creative team for the new musical THE VISIT: Broadway veteran Chita Rivera, composer John Kander and playwright Terrence McNally, all multiple Tony-winners.

Moderated by none other than actress Sutton Foster, a SOMETHING ROTTEN! creative conversation was more laughs than conversation, and we loved every giggle of it. North Texan Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark, currently starring in a musical rendition of GIGI, also made a surprise appearance, as did AN AMERICAN IN PARIS’ choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and leads Robert Fairchild and Leanne Michelle Cope. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is tied with FUN HOME for the most number of Tony nominations this season, 12.

To top it off, we were given an exclusive sneak preview of THE BODYGUARD, an upcoming touring musical based on the Oscar-nominated 1992 film that starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston (it’s currently on stage in the U.K.).

Playing Houston’s character will be Grammy-nominated R&B singer Deborah Cox, who, during the lunchtime sneak peek, made a surprise appearance and belted out the show’s signature song, I Will Always Love You. Cox, who provided the vocals for Lifetime’s Whitney Houston movie, “Whitney,” has been seen on Broadway in the title role of AIDA.

Among the shows we saw Thursday night were two of our conference favorites: The outrageously hilarious SOMETHING ROTTEN! and FINDING NEVERLAND.

Something Rotten! is a vibrant, fresh, all-new original musical. From the first note of “Welcome to the Renaissance” you know you’re in for a journey filled with laughter and great music.

This show is in the same category as THE PRODUCERS and SPAMALOT, with witty and clever writing. Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James are at the top of their game.

Performing Arts Fort Worth Marketing Director Jason Wise at SOMETHING ROTTEN!
Performing Arts Fort Worth Marketing Director Jason Wise at SOMETHING ROTTEN!

At a time when many new musicals are based on already-existing material, it’s refreshing to see a new original musical. Its 10 Tony nominations, including best musical, are well deserved!

Fort Worth audiences are going to love this show. We look forward to bringing it in an upcoming season.

We think Fort Worth will also fall in love with FINDING NEVERLAND. Like the movie on which it is based, the story revolves around author/playwright J. M. Barrie and how he came to write the 1904 play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

The show has an all-star cast featuring Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer and Laura Michelle Kelly, all of whom shine in their roles. There’s plenty of eye candy, too, including a neat flying sequence that we won’t give away.

We’re also hoping to bring this show to the Bass Hall stage sometime in the future.

Thanks to The Broadway League for once again hosting a terrific, informative and entertaining conference. See you guys next year!

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