Musical Director Craig Barna Files Lawsuit Against Cathy Rigby Over Peter Pan Royalties; Similar Suit Previously Dismissed

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17 Jul 2013

Musical director Craig Barna, who provided orchestrations and arrangements for the 1998 and 1999 Broadway engagements of Peter Pan and has had a long history with the musical, has filed a $2 million lawsuit against Cathy Rigby — star and producer of Peter Pan's touring production — according to the Daily News. 

In the suit filed July 15, Barna listed more than 30 musical numbers he composed or contributed to and claims that he has never been properly compensated for his work.

Barna, who worked on Rigby's Peter Pan from 1989-2004, accused Rigby and producer Tom McCoy of breaching a 2004 contract and stated that Keith Levenson, the orchestra conductor who succeeded him, is taking credit for music he composed.

Barna also said that his music has been licensed to amateur theatres, in which Rigby and McCoy "have collected substantial sums of money" he's entitled to.

Santo Borruso, the attorney representing Peter Pan 2011, L.P., McCoy, Rigby and Levenson, said to Playbill.com in a July 17 statement, "The lawsuit Mr. Barna recently filed is nearly identical to a prior lawsuit he brought in 2011, which was dismissed in its entirety by Justice O. Peter Sherwood of the New York State Supreme Court, on June 6, 2013. Mr. Barna's claims are without merit. Just as they did in response to Mr. Barna's first lawsuit, which was dismissed, our clients will vigorously defend themselves in court."



Additionally, Borruso told Playbill.com that any musical material utilized in connection with the tour was either Levenson's own original material or material derived from the Mary Martin version of the musical, which featured music by Mark Charlap, additional music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Leslie Ben-Zvi, the attorney for Craig Barna, explained that the "2011 lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice" and the party re-filed the suit July 15. "We look forward to vigorously prosecuting this lawsuit in New York Supreme Court and seeing that justice is done," said Ben-Zvi. 

The tour of Peter Pan, which concluded April 28 in Boston, MA, was produced by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Nederlander Presentations, Albert Nocciolino in association with Larry Earl Payton, Michael Filerman, Heni Koenigsberg and La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts.

For more information on the production, visit CathyRigbyIsPeterPan.com.