BWW Reviews: Cathy Rigby Keeps PETER PAN Soaring High

Cathy-Rigby-Keeps-Peter-Pan-Soaring-High-20010101

Peter Pan/a musical production of the play by Sir James Barrie/lyrics by Carolyn Leigh & music by Moose Charlap/additional lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green; additional music by Jule Styne/directed by Glenn Casale/Pantages Theatre/through January 27

The opening night performance of the show at the Pantages on Tuesday, January 15 was top-notch. Rigby remains at the very top of her form and over the last 6 months of the tour Brent Barrett has grown better and better in his delicious delivery of Captain Hook's acerbic wit and caustic, egomaniacal demeanor, the very epitome of raging cowardice, reminding me more and more comedically of the original Cyril Ritchard.

Below is my review from June at La Mirada

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Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan. Yes, indeed! I have seen Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan as well, but Rigby adds so much more to the character simply because of her physicality. A gymnast can do physical feats and tricks that an ordinary actor cannot. So if Peter Pan can turn sommersaults in mid-air or literally climb the walls of the Darling children's bedroom, if she is played by Cathy Rigby, there is no wonder. Oh, but that is so wrong, for Peter Pan is filled with wonderment, and Rigby, apart from all the physical stuff she adds, is a total joy to behold whether she is flying or not. She and the show are pure magic. Peter Pan will never grow up, thank heavens!

New to this tour is Brent Barrett as Captain Hook. Cyril Richard was so campy and over-the-top, but director Glenn Casale has assured that this Hook will be a real pirate, a dashing, debonnair swordsman, who just so happens to be a coward who's running away from a crocodile. Brent Barrett brings first class charm to the role, making it totally his own. He's a great singer to boot! Also on board are Kim Crosby as Mrs. Darling, Krista Buccellato as Wendy, James Leo Ryan, delightful as Smee, Jenna Wright as Tiger Lily - what a dancer and what a sexy form she cuts ... and let's not forget the pirates led by Michael A. Shepperd and Sam Zeller. And Clark Roberts who so ingeniously jumps around as Nana and then slithers as the crocodile! Cade Canon Ball is John and Julia Massey is Michael. Casale has directed beautifully and the sets by John Iacovelli and costumes by Shigeru Yagi delight the eye.

Peter Pan is so much more than a fairy tale; it's a story of hope for all ages. Believe that you can do anything and never give up on it, irregardless of age! I was overjoyed to hear two young men sitting next to me, laughing uproariously at the silly shenanigans and joke lines. They cheered long and hard for Tinkerbell! It is a true indication that the legend has moved forward and is still bringing joy to all who encounter it. Keep sprinkling that fairy dust!




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Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:

www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

Don is in his fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page.


 
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