Cathy Rigby soars in Peter Pan

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    Cathy Rigby soars in Peter Pan by Jared Kenwood

    In August, Broadway legend and Olympic champion Cathy Rigby brought her tour, “Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan” to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. In what will be the final tour of this two-time Emmy award winning, Tony nominated production, Rigby reprises her role as The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. The audience, which included families and theatergoers, were dazzled by this production of Peter Pan, an exciting, adventure filled performance. It was truly a magical experience that included elaborate sets, stunning costumes, and a talented cast and creative team.

    Rigby has played over 3,000 performances on Broadway and Nationwide tours of “Peter Pan” since the early 1990s. At age 60, Rigby will finally put away her fairy dust and say Goodbye to Never, Neverland and the Role that catapulted her to Broadway Stardom. However, Cathy Rigby discovered fame long before she stared in Peter Pan. In 1968, Cathy participated in the Summer Olympics as an American Gymnast, earning high scores. Later, she went on to the 1970 World Gymnastics competition and the 1972 Games in Munich, Germany winning the Silver medal. Cathy Rigby has been credited for bringing popularity to the Olympics and for being the first American Woman to receive a medal in World Gymnastics.

    Following her retirement from athletics, Cathy decided to pursue a career in acting. She studied the art of acting and training in ballet, while perfecting her singing voice. Once she mastered her new craft, Rigby acted in several musicals in national and regional tours then went on to Broadway in Peter Pan in 1991, and Seussical the Musical in 2002. Of course her skills as a Gymnast were not forgotten. Cathy is best known for being the most athletic actress to play Peter Pan, incorporating her acrobatic talent in a role that requires actual “flying” from a rigger. She is able to twist, turn and flip in the air as though she were light as a feather. At age 60 and in perfect shape, she can deliver handstands and somersaults flawlessly.

    “I get the best of both worlds,” says Rigby, reflecting to Broward College on lending her athletic ability to her character. Special thanks to Ms. Rigby’s assistant, Marcie Wright for arranging The Observer an up close and personal conversation with the star of Peter Pan. She encourages students to study their craft and to “Believe” in their dreams, “Theater is a competitive arena, “Rigby adds, “You need to have the potential of a triple threat: dancing, singing and acting.”

    “Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan” will continue its final tour until early 2013. For those who missed the show at the Kravis Center, it will return to Florida in February at the Van Wezel Theater in Sarasota. You won’t want to miss out on Rigby’s final performance. The New York Times says, “Rigby still carries off the flights, fights and acrobatics that make Peter Pan audiences mesmerized.”
    The show is also available on DVD from A&E.

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