Peter Pan To Fly Back to Broadway in Fall 2005; Rigby Says Farewell to the Role

News   Peter Pan To Fly Back to Broadway in Fall 2005; Rigby Says Farewell to the Role
Cathy Rigby's farewell appearance in the musical Peter Pan is expected to be seen on Broadway in late 2005, producer Tom McCoy told Playbill On-Line.

Currently flying high in a touring revival that coincides with the 100 anniversary of the creation of J.M. Barrie's boy who wouldn't grow up, former Olympic champion Rigby is expected cap off the tour with a limited Broadway engagement between Thanksgiving 2005 and January 2006.

Tiny, nimble and acrobatic, the fiftysomething Rigby earlier announced this would be her last time in the green tights. Her Capt. Hook in the current tour is Howard McGillin, a veteran of Broadway's Anything Goes and The Phantom of the Opera.

For one of her several trips to Broadway in the role, Rigby was Tony Award-nominated. The 1954 musical by Carolyn Leigh, Moose Charlap, J.M. Barrie, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green first starred Mary Martin (who also starred in a popular TV version of the show). A 1979 revival starred Sandy Duncan. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, Rigby was most identified with the role, playing it on tour and on Broadway.

Critics have embraced Rigby's athletic work as Peter. The creativity of the production — put together in recent years by McCoy-Rigby Entertainment, La Mirada Theatre, the Nederlanders and other producing partners — has also been well-reviewed. Under the direction of Glenn Casale and choreographer Patti Colombo, scenes from the original Barrie play were added to the McCoy-Rigby staging, some conventions of the original production (like dancing animals) were cut, the Indian number known as "Ugg-a-Wugg" was reinvented as a percussive dance that trimmed out offensive "redskin" references.

For many children, the musical Peter Pan represented a first brush with the magic of musical theatre; the combination of singing, dancing and flying on wires makes the show unforgettable for some children. "We definitely have plans to go back to Broadway beginning before the Thanksgiving holidays through the New Year, a seven or eight week period," McCoy told Playbill On-Line. "The Nederlanders are the partners on this show; hopefully we'll be in a Nederlander theatre, although theatre availability isn't known right now. We have every intention on taking it into New York."

Cathy Rigby in <i>Peter Pan.</i>
Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan.
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