Rigby had previously retired her wires, saying she wouldn't play J.M. Barrie's boy who wouldn't grow up, but the tug of the musical apparently proved too strong. Tickets for the MSG holiday-season engagement go on sale 10 AM May 17.
Rigby won an Emmy Award for the TV version of the show (using elements of a 1999 revival). That creative team (including director Glenn Casale and choreographer Patti Colombo) reunites for the new two-year national tour. The production launches at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA, in September.
Rigby's return to the role (she has played the part over 3,000 times) will be documented in a two-hour PBS special airing in August. She was a Best Actress Tony Award nominee for playing the part in 1990-91. A 1999 Broadway return of the show earned a Tony nomination as Best Revival of a Musical (Casale and Colombo were director and choreographer, respectively).
The 1954 musical's libretto is credited to Barrie. The songs are by composer Moose Charlap and lyricist Carolyn Leigh, with additional songs by composer Jule Styne and Betty Comden & Adolph Green. Rigby and her producer husband Tom McCoy reinvented the script with their collaborators starting in the 1990s. In particular, the references to Native Americans were softened, and the tribal song "Ugg-a-Wugg" is now a primal percussion number that has brought down the house as never before. Drawing on her past as an Olympic gymnast, Rigby has also made Peter more physically nimble and athletic (Mary Martin and Sandy Duncan never did handstands in their Broadway productions).
Rigby's version of Peter Pan is available on DVD (the Emmy-winning A&E production), on a cast album and on a TV soundtrack.
For more information about Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan (the official branding of the tour) at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, visit www.theateratmsg.com or call (866) 858-0008.