Cathy Rigby and More Talk the Legacy of PETER PAN and NBC's Live Production
VH1.com just unveiled a PETER PAN "oral history" piece featuring interviews with original players Cathy Rigby, Sandy Duncan, Sondra Lee, Heller Halliday and more chatting about their part in the musical's legacy, their thoughts on NBC's upcoming live production starring Allison Williams, and more.
Cathy Rigby on why 'Peter Pan' is often portrayed by a woman and what she thinks of Williams: "I really don't know if the casting is just traditional. I think it's mostly Sir James Barrie traditionally wanted a woman and it's been part of the role for so many years. I don't see any reason why it couldn't be played by someone who could sing the role. I thought maybe they would [cast a male singer or actor] for this new production -- it would certainly give it a kick...I think [Allison] has a beautiful voice and I love the picture. I think she looks more boy-like than most, even in the way that she's sitting. I think she'll be great and it feels a bit like sending your child off to college. You wish them well and you hope everything goes well. It's kind of emotional, letting go of a role. It's a lot of different feelings."
Sondra Lee on whether she'll tune in for NBC's live telecast: "I think what we created with Jerome Robbins is a classic, standalone. I'm not really interested in what they're doing in this new production. I think Christopher Walken could be very funny but, for me, there is no one like [original Hook] Cyril Ritchard."
Sandy Duncan on her part in NBC's earlier live telecast: "In the 90s, [NBC TV executive] Brandon Tartikoff called. NBC wanted to do a live telecast with me. I was in LA doing a sitcom [Hogan's Family] and I wasn't sure. I told Brandon, 'I don't know if it's a good idea to do this televised with an older woman' but I wanted my kids to see it so I said 'OK.' My kids were five and six, at the time. So, I'm a little bitter because I'm not on record having done it. It's this weird theatre thing."
Read the full story here!
Allison Williams will portray Peter Pan in the highly anticipated PETER PAN LIVE on NBC. The 'Girls' star takes on the role of the boy who refuses to grow up and who is forced to confront the villainous Captain Hook, played by Oscar winner Christopher Walken when the J.M. Barrie's classic musical comes to NBC on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce the broadcast. The duo are accomplished in both television and film, having earned 103 Emmy nominations. They were the driving force behind several stage-to-screen musicals, including the film version of "Hairspray" and TV adaptation of "Cinderella," as well as executive producing the NBCdrama "Smash," which earned a Golden Globe nomination. They were also nominated for a Tony Award in 2011 for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and also produced the revival of "Promises, Promises" to the Broadway stage in 2010. In addition, the duo executive produced the 2002 Oscar-winning film "Chicago."
Emmy nominated for "The Sound of Music Live!," director Rob Ashford won an Emmy as a choreographer for the "81st Annual Academy Awards" and earned a Directors Guild of America nomination for "The Sound of Music Live!" He won a Tony for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 2002 and has received nominations for seven other productions, including "Cry-Baby," "The Wedding Singer" and "Evita."
Glenn Weiss, who will serve as director for live television, has won 10 Emmys as both a director and executive producer on the TONY AWARDS telecasts. He has also won five DGA Awards for his work on the Tonys.
Musical director David Chase was Emmy nominated for "The Sound of Music Live!" and is one of the busiest music directors working on Broadway today. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013 for the cast album of the show "Nice Work If You Can Get It." He has an extensive Broadway resume, collaborating on such productions as "Damn Yankees," "Billy Elliot: The Musical" and "The Music Man." His current projects include "Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" and he will serve as music supervisor for "Finding Neverland," which is inspired by the Johnny Depp film and will arrive on Broadway in March.
Always sought after on Broadway for his incredible sets, production designer Derek McLane is an Emmy winner for his work on the 2014 Oscar telecast and was nominated for the 2013 Oscars broadcast. He also won a Tony in 2009 for the play "33 Variations" and has three other nominations. His vast array of credits include the revivals of "Grease," "Barefoot in the Park" and "Ragtime," and original productions of "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."
Costume designer Catherine Zuber is a seven-time Tony winner for her efforts on such productions as "The Light in the Piazza," "The Coast of Utopia" and "The Royal Family." Her voluminous credits include the revivals of "The Rose Tattoo," "The Twelfth Night" and "South Pacific," as well as original productions of "Doubt," "Cry-Baby" and "The Bridges of Madison County." She will also serve as costume designer for the upcoming revival of "The King and I."
Lighting designer Robert A. Dickinson has won 19 Emmys for his work on such projects as the Olympic Games, and several telecasts of both THE GRAMMYS and Oscars.
Photo by Bryan Bedder/NBC.