It would seem that it is a very minor difference. Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan, Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan. Such a little word, just two letters but the choice of “is” says this actress so embodies this role, plays it so expertly and flawlessly that the audience will believe that she is the character she plays.
Peter Pan is the timeless story of an ageless boy who believes his parents don't want him and he is not alone. He leads a group of “Lost Boys” that live with him on the island of Neverland where they live in the midst of Pirates, Fairies, Mermaids and more. The story follows Peter and a trio of siblings that stumble upon him as he searches for his shadow which was caught in one of the homes windows as he escaped the home on a previous visit. He takes the three under his wing, teaching them how to fly by simply thinking happy thoughts and together they fly to Neverland. This is a show for kids and those of us who have never really grown up. It is a fairy tale so pretty light fare.
What makes this show amazing is Rigby. The two time gold metal winning Olympic gymnast becomes Peter Pan and her gymnastic abilities are as honed as the day she won the gold. She floats across the stage, back and forth, landing on perches, in chairs making it look so effortless and natural that very early on you understand why they chose Cathy Rigby IS Peter Pan. It does not take long after her first entrance that you are completely sold on Rigby's Ageless boy. She brings a life and energy to this character that I dare say no other actor will ever match. The highlight of the show is the show stopping Second act opener “Ugg-a-Wugg” which is an incredible singing, dancing and drumming extravaganza.
The only cast member to shine as brightly as Rigby is Sam Zeller as Captain Hook. Though Zeller has played the role on Broadway and film he is the understudy in this production. I was very pleased to see him in the role. I was surprised but delighted to see Hook played for laughs. It not only works it brings a much needed dimension to the show.
As much fun as it is to watch Rigby it is equally as fun to watch the many children that come to see their favorite characters in person. The little girl in front of me who was probably all of four would leap to her feet and shout “Tinkerbell” every time the character (a flickering spotlight) entered the stage as if calling her to come over and visit. Watching her wonder and excitement was as enjoyable as watching Rigby.
Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan. One little word and a choice so bold you will rarely see it used. I think it is probably rare, because it is almost never applicable. That is not the case here. Cathy Rigby becomes Peter Pan and it is not until the curtain call you will remember you have been watching a woman who has long since past her teen years.
After the show purchase a show poster and Rigby will sign and pose for a picture with you. Proceeds from the sale of the $25.00 poster benefits Discovery Arts. This amazing organization brings art, dance and drama to children with cancer and other life threatening diseases while they are hospitalized.
Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan plays Bass Hall in Fort Worth through Sunday. Tickets are $38.50-$99.00 and are available at http://www.basshall.com/. Up next for Broadway at the Bass is Sister Act June 18-23. You don't want to miss the return of Dixie's Tupperware Party, this is not your mother's tupperware party, though you will have the opportunity to buy some of the “Plastic Crap”. This show is most fun when experienced in groups. Grab all your best girlfriends and don't miss this, there is not a better night out with the girls!
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