Backstage on Broadway: Melanie Moore, Laura Michelle Kelly bring laughs and new sense of wonder to ‘Finding Neverland’

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“Laura and I like to warm up by giggling,” Melanie Moore laughed.

Laughter, it's the fairy dust that makes Finding Neverland fly.

"[We practice] because she’s got to laugh so much as Peter Pan,” Laura Michelle Kelly said of Moore.

Melanie Moore and Laura Michelle Kelly bring the fun backstage!

“She’s the sunniest lady in all the land so everyone’s like knock, knock, knock, Laura!” Moore said about Kelly.

A relationship that translates on stage and one that these ladies cherish.

“The girls in this cast, we’re like a sisterhood,” Kelly said.

“The cast of Finding Neverland is literally the most brilliant group of humans I’ve ever met my whole life,” Moore smiled.

For this 23-year old the magical journey began nearly five years ago when she auditioned for the TV dance competition "So You Think You Can Dance."

“So You Think You Can Dance was such a nutty experience,” Moore remembered. "It gave me the biggest platform that a dancer could ever have.”

After winning Season 8, her career took off.

“It was wonderful and amazing, I got to do a ton of cool things," Moore said. "But I was a little bored, I missed performing in front of a live audience so I moved to New York.”

Web extra: Melanie Moore talks inspiration behind playing Peter Pan

Moore then got the chance to audition for a new musical.

“At the time it wasn’t Finding Neverland, it was an undisclosed project with an undisclosed choreographer,” she said. “So I walked into the room and there was Mia Michaels [legendary choreographer], I was like oh yeah this could be really good!”

Soon after, she was cast as Peter Pan and set to make her Broadway debut.

“it’s a hard character to play, and you know I get to have a new take on it," Moore explained. "I get to dance and laugh and throw glitter, I literally have the best job on Broadway.”

Web extra: Melanie Moore on whether she'd want to be a kid forever

She shares the stage every night with veteran performers Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammar and gal pal, Laura Michelle Kelly.

“We all go around hugging each other," Kelly said. "It is cliche but it’s true, it’s nice to be able to come to work every day with lovely people.”

The award-winning actress gave us a glimpse at her dressing room and pre-show routine.

“I always make myself a cup of tea, and I hang out in my room,” she explained. “These are all my costumes, and the second that a designer puts their color and their artistry upon me I become a version of myself and a version of how they see me.”

Web extra: Laura Michelle Kelly discusses Tony Awards snub

Then the one of the show's hairdressers comes in to help put on Kelly's wig.

“So this is Tom, he collects the microphones and now he’s doing this thing called pin curling,” she showed us. "Then usually when Tom’s doing my hair, I’ll put my makeup on.”

Now it's showtime! And while it may be an age-old tale, but these ladies hope you'll take away a new sense of wonder.

“We want to make an audience happy," Kelly smiled. "Let them leave different from when they came in.”

“You really can get through anything," Melanie added. "We all work together to make people believe.”

You can see Finding Neverland currently playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi