English tenor Alfie Boe. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

Scoop: Alfie Boe to be next hero in Broadway’s ‘Finding Neverland’

Opera and theater star Alfie Boe will go from prisoner to playwright when he trades in “Les Miserables” for “Finding Neverland” late next month on Broadway.

The British tenor, who has been playing Jean Valjean, will star as “Peter Pan” creator J.M. Barrie on March 29 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, replacing Tony Yazbeck in the role, who finishes his run two nights earlier.

Classically trained at the Royal Opera House, Boe was spotted by super-producer Cameron Mackintosh and invited to the “Les Miserables” anniversary concert in London in 2010 in front of 28,000 people.

“Finding Neverland” is adapted from the 2004 whimsical film of the same name about a widow whose four young sons inspired M. Barrie to write the children’s classic.

Umberto Eco dead at 84

Umberto Eco catapulted to global literary fame three decades ago with “The Name of the Rose,” a novel in which professorial erudition underpinned a medieval thriller that sold some 30 million copies in more than 40 languages.

The Italian author and academic who became one of Italy’s best-known cultural exports and keenest cultural critics, died at home in Milan on Friday evening after a battle with cancer, according to a family member who asked not to be identified.

His death was earlier confirmed by his American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

‘Deadpool’ dominates again with $55 million in 2nd week

Marvel’s R-rated antihero smash “Deadpool” continued to dominate movie theaters over the
weekend, earning an estimated $55 million and trouncing a trio of newcomers.

After pulling in a massive $152.2 million in its President’s Day weekend four-day debut, the comic book adaptation from 20th Century Fox starring Ryan Reynolds as a foul-mouthed mercenary again topped the North American box office. Having already grossed $235.4 million domestically, “Deadpool” — made for just $58 million — is poised to become one of the most successful R-rated movies ever.

Globally, the film — now certain to spawn a franchise of its own — has made $491.1 million thus far.

Happy birthday

Actor Daniel E. Smith (”John Q.”) is 26. … Actor Zach Roerig (”The Vampire Diaries”) is 31. … Actress Drew Barrymore is 41. … Comedian Rachel Dratch (”30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live”) is 50. … Actor Kyle MacLachlan is 57. … Actress Julie Walters (”Harry Potter” films, “Mamma Mia!”) is 66. … Director Jonathan Demme is 72.

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