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'Finding Neverland' actress a big fan of show

'Finding Neverland' actress a big fan of show

She plays Madame Emma du Maurier in national touring production
'Finding Neverland' actress a big fan of show
Lael Van Keuren (left) and Karen Murphy in the touring production of “FInding Neverland.”
Photographer: Jeremy Daniel

Karen Murphy loves the theater, loves performing and sometimes, just loves hanging around backstage.

As Madame Emma du Maurier in the national touring production of "Finding Neverland" coming to Proctors Tuesday for six days, Murphy gets the opportunity to spend plenty of time on stage, and also has a great vantage point for some of the show's more magical moments.

"There's one special effect at the end of the show that is just amazing," said Murphy, who also played Mrs. Andrews in the touring production of "Mary Poppins" that came to Proctors back in 2012. "I don't want to give anything away but I always find a spot somewhere backstage and I always make sure I watch it. I love to see the crowd reaction."

['Finding Neverland' another challenge for Proctors' 'flyman']
['Peter Pan' and J.M. Barrie, a timeline]

"Finding Neverland" is the 2015 Broadway musical based on the 2004 movie about J.M. Barrie, the author who created the character of Peter Pan. The national touring production is coming off a week's run in Providence, Rhode Island where it got rave reviews and Murphy's performance as Madame du Maurier was called "wonderful."

"Emma grows from being unaccepting to being tolerant," said Murphy, who grew up just north of New York City in the Connecticut suburbs. "It's an emotional journey and I like her very much."

Murphy, who has also performed on Broadway in "A Little Night Music," "9 to 5," "All Shook Up," "42nd Street," "King David," and "Titanic," is anxious to return to Schenectady and enjoy the historic venue that is Proctors.

"I remember performing at Proctors and thinking what a beautiful historic theater it is," she said. "I remember it being recently renovated, but there was still something about it. Even though the stage and backstage area was renovated and beautiful, it still had this wonderful sense of history to it. It's a great place and I'm very much looking forward to going back there."

Joining Murphy on stage is Billy Harrigan Tighe as J.M. Barrie, Lael van Keuren as Sylvia Llewelyn Davis, and John Davidson as Charles Fronman/Captain Hook. That's the same John Davidson that was seen on television throughout the 1970s and 1980s in "The Hollywood Squares," "The Girl with Something Extra," and countless variety shows. He was on Broadway in 1964 in "Foxy" and again in 1996 in "State Fair."

'Finding Neverland'

WHERE: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 1:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $90-$20
MORE INFO: 518-346-2914, www.proctors.org

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