Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cathy Rigby Takes Flight in West Palm Beach


Cathy Rigby Flies High as “Peter Pan”

By Skip Sheffield

What an amazing phenomenon is the winsome little woman named Cathy Rigby.
Former Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby is the star of a revitalized “Peter Pan,” playing just through Sunday, Aug. 5 at Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
The petite (4-foot-11) nimble and ageless Rigby will turn 60 Dec. 12, but you would never know it. Rigby leaps, dances, aggressively sword fights and soars as Peter Pan. Rigby has been perfecting her performance as the orphaned little British boy who refuses to grow up since 1974 (since 1990 on Broadway). You could safely say she has it down, but what is most engaging about her performance is her sheer joy in bounding about the stage and flying through the air.
It’s a pretty good bet you already know the story of Peter Pan, as it has been an all-time children’s favorite since it was first published by J.M. Barrie in 1904. So let’s cut to the chase. This production, directed by Glenn Castle, is distinguished by amazing dance numbers (choreographed by Patti Colombo), hearty renditions of a beloved score and nifty stage tricks.
There is a touring stage orchestra in the pit that provides a full sound from a minimum of players, with new dance music by Keith Levenson.
This is most evident in the hilarious “Pirate March,” which is led by Captain Hook (Brent Barrett, who also plays Mr. Darling) in an all-male tango. Later there will be a pirate tarantella, complete with tambourines.
Speaking of dancers, special notice should be made of Jenna Wright, who plays the Neverland Indian maiden Tiger Lily. This is Jenna’s second national tour with the show. It is obvious why she was invited back. She is sensational.
In this compact travelling show, produced by Rigby’s own McCoy Rigby Entertainment, cast members play multiple roles. For example, Kim Crosby plays Mrs. Darling, a Mermaid and the gown-up Wendy (Krista Buccellato). Rod Roberts gets the all-purpose award for energetically portray the Darling family dog Nana, Capt. Hook’s nemesis the Crocodile, and male swing dancer and dance captain.
“Peter Pan” has earlier start times to accommodate a younger audience. Whatever you do, stay until the final curtain. If you leave early you will miss Cathy Rigby’s spectacular finale.
Tickets start at $25. Call 800-572-8471 or go to

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