She's flyin' -- again!
Cathy Rigby returned to the high-flying, acrobatic title role in Peter Pan July 18 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA. This time, however, Rigby sings, dances and flies on wires in the round, a new challenge for the former Olympic gymnast who earned a Tony Award nomination for the boyish role in 1991. Her two Broadway revivals of Peter Pan each earned Best Revival Tony noms, in 1991 and 1999.
July 20 was official opening for the North Shore staging, which is technically separate from the proscenium-bound 1998-99 Broadway and national touring production. Performances continue to Aug. 12 (the fourth week was recently added).
"Peter Pan does bring a big technical challenge for the round," director Alan Coats said in a statement, "but it's a treat that...Cathy will be able to fly so close to the audience, and I think learning and seeing how some of the magic is made is part of the experience. We're doing some new things in the round."
Patti Colombo recreates her percussive Broadway choreography and Broadway set designer John Iacovelli is also on board, as is Broadway's Shigeru Yaji (costumes). Tom Sturge is lighting designer, John A. Stone is sound designer. Flying is by ZFX Inc. Bruce Barnes is music director. David Masenheimer, Mandy Patinkin's understudy in Broadway's The Wild Party, plays Capt. Hook.
The 1954 musical, first conceived by Jerome Robbins, who drew on the play by James M. Barrie, originally starred Mary Martin and features a now-classic score by Moose Charlap, Carolyn Leigh, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The score was known to millions via an annual TV broadcast with Martin singing "I Gotta Crow," "I'm Flyin'," "I Won't Grow Up," "Neverland" and more.
Tickets range $18-$56. North Shore Music Theatre is at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA. Call (978) 232-7200 or visit the web site at www.nsmt.org.
It was just announced that a filmed version of Rigby's Peter Pan, shot at La Mirada Theatre using eight cameras, will be seen on A&E Oct. 8. The presentation is a 96-minute cutting of the 2-1/2-hour stage show.
-- By Kenneth Jones