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BWW Reviews: Cathy Rigby's PETER PAN Is Still Flying High

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
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
through June 24

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. Now onstage through June 24 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 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 stately limber Tiger Lily, and let's not forget Hook's awesome 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, 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!

Photo credit: Isaac James Creative

Regional Awards

From This Author - Don Grigware

  Don Grigware was a writer for BroadwayWorld through December 2019.                            ... (read more about this author)