Backstage on Broadway: Matthew Morrison brings childhood memories to ‘Finding Neverland’

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“I wanted to do something really different,” Matthew Morrison said.

Matthew Morrison was ready for a change.

“I knew I wanted to be back on stage," he said. "I even grew this beard because I want the first thing they saw not to be Mr. Schuester."

This Emmy-nominated actor spent the last six years on the hit TV show 'Glee.' But now he's gone from a high school teacher to the author of Peter Pan.

“My big Peter Pan memory was the movie Hook with Robin Williams," he smiled. "I loved that movie, I watched it so many times!”

He relives those memories every time he takes the stage in Finding Neverland.

“There’s something so innocent and so childlike, really the whole theme of the show,” Morrison explained.

The musical, based on the 2004 movies starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, tells the story behind the story of Peter Pan.

“I think it was an amazing film I can’t take anything away from that but it’s all about the imagination," he said. "And I don’t think there is any better place for imagination to live than in the theater.”

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

And this Thanksgiving, Morrison brought that sense of wonder to the First Family, for the TLC special 'Broadway at the White House.'

“It’s so funny I feel like I know them now," he laughed.  "Michelle and Barack, I’ve sang for them like eight times, but they’ve never invited me upstairs to their living room."

But he's loving life with his own family, he and his wife, Renee, just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary.

“She’s my best friend I didn’t think I could get any closer to,” he gushed. "She works as an interior decorator part time, even designed my dressing room."

It's been seven years since Morrison was last on Broadway and unlike Peter Pan, he definitely feels like he's done some growing up.

”I don’t know many people on Broadway now, I feel like I’m the old guy," Morrison laughed. "Yeah I think they call it experienced now?!"

Kelsey Grammar will reprise his role at Charles Frohman on January 15th and Morrison recently announced he will be stepping down, playing his last performance on January 24th.

 

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