Beloved by many, the classic musical Peter Pan returns to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre with the phenomenal Cathy Rigby in the lead as the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. This production, presented by Theater of Stars, provides an evening that is enjoyable for everyone, whether it is the first time or not.
Rigby returns in the role that garnered her a Tony Award Nomination for Leading Actress in Musical in 1991. At 59, Rigby still flies and performs all the acrobatic twists and flips that introduced the famous gymnast to a whole new generation. For many today she is the one people think of as inhabiting the iconic role, but she has been continuing the tradition started by Mary Martin for whom the musical was written.
The story, familiar to most, follows Peter, Wendy, Michael and John through their adventures in Neverland and battles with Captain Hook and his pirates. Peter comes to the children’s home looking for his shadow, where he meets Wendy and the other children, and they all fly to Neverland.
Visually stunning, this production will captivate even the most skeptical in the crowd. John Iacovelli’s lavish scenery is only a small portion of what makes this production enthralling. With acrobatic sequences, tumbling and dance all combined together, the show’s dazzling movements almost become the star of the show.
As Peter, Rigby delights. Her youthful performance is nothing short of amazing. If she is not flying around the stage while performing twists, flips and turns, she is doing cart wheels and handstands on the stage. Her portrayal of Peter as a spunky, hyper and charming boy wins the audience over quickly, and her vocal performance is equally impressive.
Broadway veteran Brent Barrett plays Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. His Hook is dastardly and comic without going over the top or being too scary. The children in the show (Krista Buccellato as Wendy, Cade Canon Ball as John and Julia Massey as Michael) create memorable characters and display impressive dancing ability. Massey in particular gives an applause provoking performance during “Ugg-a-Wugg” along with other lost boys.
A treat for the whole family, Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan plays at the Fox Theatre through August 12. Tickets are available at the box office, by telephone at 855-285-8499, or online. The show runs approximately two hours in addition to one intermission.
– Kenny Norton