For the second time in the 1990s, a Cathy Rigby production of Peter Pan has been nominated for Best Revival of a Musical.
In 1991, Rigby's Peter Pan was up for Best Revival, and Rigby herself was nominated as Best Actress for her athletic turn in the 1954 James M. Barrie-based musical. Her previous nomination in the same role makes her ineligible for a nom this season, although some have observed there are substantially new moves from Rigby, including a rip-roaring percussion dance in Act 2.
This revival, by some of the same producers as two previous Broadway visits (in 1990-91 and 1991-92), has been newly-directed, newly designed and newly-choreographed since the early 1990s.
The show was a box office hit in its limited engagement in December 1998 at the Marquis Theatre and came back to Broadway April 7, to the Gershwin.
The return is produced by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, The Nederlander Organization and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in association with Albert Nocciolino, Larry Payton, J. Lynn Singleton. *
Different from previous tours by Rigby and her McCoy Rigby Entertainment, this Peter Pan has a slightly revised book and a new centerpiece Act 2 dance sequence, "Ugg-a-Wugg," created by choreographer Patti Colombo. Potentially offensive Native American references have been trimmed and "Ugg-a-Wugg" is now part musical comedy nonsense and part primal percussion show.
Starring opposite the ageless -- well, fortysomething -- Rigby is Paul Schoeffler as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. Elisa Sagardia plays Wendy Darling.
Glenn Casale directed the production, John Iacovelli designed sets, Shigeru Yaji designed costumes, Martin Aronstein designed lighting. Craig Barna is musical director.s
What else is new in Neverland? The song "Distant Melody" is now a duet between Peter and Wendy; there is no dance for Neverland animals; the song "Mysterious Lady," a specialty for Mary Martin in the 1954 original, has been gone from the revival for many years; the scenic design by Iacovelli includes fantastical images around the proscenium that suggest a rich Victorian greeting card.
-- By Kenneth Jones