Craig Barna's Attorney Releases Statement on Cathy Rigby Lawsuit
As BroadwayWorld reported last week, Cathy Rigby is being sued by composer Craig Barna over the latest tour of PETER PAN. Barna's $2 million lawsuit claims that he has not been compensated for over 30 musical numbers that he contributed to the musical. Leslie Ben-Zvi, Barna's attorney, has given BroadwayWorld the following statement regarding the situation:
"Craig Barna signed a contract with Cathy Rigby to compose additional music and create new orchestrations for her production of Peter Pan. For years, his music and arrangements - which were contractually owned by him - were used in conjunction with Cathy Rigby's production of Peter Pan. It was only after she, Tom McCoy and their Production Company stopped paying him for the use of his work that he was left with no alternative but to take them to court.
The 2011 lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, which means that we could immediately re-file, which we did on July 15th. There was no strike two and there will surely not be a strike three.
One result of the prior lawsuit was that Cathy Rigby provided us with nearly one thousand pages of musical score that clearly demonstrate that she continued to use Craig Barna's compositions and orchestrations without his permission and without paying him.
Moreover, Cathy Rigby's inflammatory allegation of 'extortion' is not only wrong, it is defamatory and hardly in keeping with her reputation. We like to think that she would never, never say such a thing.
We look forward to vigorously prosecuting this lawsuit in New York Supreme Court and seeing that justice is done."
"Cathy and I have never in our lives been dishonest or dishonorable to anyone, especially as it relates to our business. We are absurdly generous in everything we do. We feel like this is extortion because a judge has already thrown out the lawsuit twice and now [Barna] is coming after us again. It's important to realize that he never had any approval from Samuel French, who represent the authors of PETER PAN. So whatever he claims he owns, he never even had approval to make adjustments. McCoy Rigby did but Barna didn't.
In the last tour we took everything that he did out and reorchestarted so that his work was not involved. We will fight his tooth and nail for the third time and will not rest until finally a judge says "This is strike number three please, go away."
Barna contributed to the score and various revisions from 1989 to 2004 and claims that the show's current orchestra conductor, Keith Levenson, has received credit for his compositions.
Click here to read the full Daily News article on the suit.
The Tony-nominated, Cathy Rigby made the role of PETER PAN her own when she debuted as the boy who wouldn't grow up on December 15, 1989. She toured the country on and off from 1989 until the present, and has taken flight over 3,000 times in various National Tours, international productions and in special encore appearances in Branson, Missouri. Cathy Rigby's name will always be synonymous with PETER PAN as she has charmed and enchanted audiences in the stage musical and with the Emmy Award winning A&E production of PETER PAN.