Cathy Rigby's Final NYC Engagement as Peter Pan Begins Nov. 30

News   Cathy Rigby's Final NYC Engagement as Peter Pan Begins Nov. 30 Cathy Rigby, the two-time Olympic gymnast who became a nimble Tony Award-nominated actress for her flight of fancy in the musical Peter Pan, makes her final New York appearance in the show Nov. 30-Dec. 30.
Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan.
Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan. Photo by Craig Schwartz

The fiftysomething Rigby isn't retiring from acting, she's just hanging up the green tights to concentrate on other roles. She and her husband Tom McCoy program plays and musicals at California's LaMirada Theatre, an artistic home for her.

Her farewell Manhattan bow as the boy who wouldn't grow up is at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. For the New York holiday run, the touring revival's scenic elements have been expanded for the large venue, as has the flight choreography, which traditionally sends Rigby out over the audience at the climax.

The company Rigby keeps to tell the James M. Barrie tale, with songs by Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh, includes James Clow (Broadway's Assassins, Wonderful Town) as Hook/Mr. Darling, Victoria Lee Wood and Abigail Taylor alternating as Michael Darling, Elisa Sagardia as Wendy, Tracy Lore as Mrs. Darling, Patrick Richwood as Mr. Smee, Lauren Masiello as Tiger Lilly, Gavin Leatherwood as John Darling with Jordan Bass, Gail Bianchi, Omar D. Brancato, Sarah Jenkens, Theresa McCoy, Tiffany Barrett, Nathan Balser, Tim Fournier, Seth Hampton, Cameron Henderson, Noel Douglas Orput, Tiffany Helland, Tony Spinosa, Luis Villabon, Jonathan Warren and John B. Williford.

Based on several chapters that appeared in James M. Barrie's 1902 novel, "The Little White Bird," the play Peter Pan was first performed in London in 1904. The hit musical comedy version of Barrie's classic first appeared in 1954 starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard in the leading roles. Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne penned additional songs for it (including "Hook's Waltz" and "Never Never Land").

The score includes "I Gotta Crow," "Tender Shepherd," "I'm Flyin'," "I Won't Grow Up," "Wendy," "Distant Melody" and more. The internationally-known tale "recounts the adventures of the three Darling children as they fly away from their nursery into the magic and wonder of Never Land. It is in Never Land that they encounter the cunning and evil Captain Hook, villainous pirates, a crafty crocodile and a sprightly fairy, Tinker Bell."

The new production is staged by Glenn Casale, choreographed by Patti Colombo. Craig Barna is the musical director.

The Emmy Award winning set design is by John Iacovelli, Shigeru Yaji designed the costumes and Tom Ruzika designed the lighting. Flying sequences are designed by Paul Rubin.

Producers of this all new production are McCoy Rigby Entertainment, The Nederlander Organization and LaMirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in association with Albert Nocciolino, Larry Payton, J. Lynn Singleton and Bronsand Music, Inc.

Rigby made her professional debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz more than 20 years ago. Since that debut, she has starred in productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Meet Me in St. Louis, Paint Your Wagon and They're Playing Our Song. She played The Cat in the Hat in Seussical on Broadway and in its national tour.

"One of the greatest gifts of my theatrical career has been the opportunity to play Peter Pan," she said in production notes. "The thrill of seeing the faces of children as I fly over their heads sprinkling fairy dust and having the chance (eight times a week) to relive the adventure of a perfect make believe childhood."

She said her greatest joy is the reaction, letters and emails that she receives from countless children and adults.

The national tour of Peter Pan continues to April 2006, when Rigby is expected to unhook the wires and walk on terra firma for good.

For more information about the Madison Square Garden engagement, visit www.thegarden.com.

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