ugg short boot Rigby ageless as boy who wouldn’t grow up
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Cathy Rigby offered Scranton an energetic, amusing “Peter Pan” on Friday night, and the audience gladly took her up on it. Barrie’s classic tale, presented this weekend by Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple.
As always, Peter whisks away the three Darling children from their London home to Neverland, where they encounter the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily, the infamous Captain Hook and more. The pirates are a colorful, funny bunch and Hook offered a great mix of humor and villainy. He made for an imposing figure but also a sympathetic one, ready to fight and defeat Peter but forever fearful of the crocodile that took his hand and is hungry for more.
But as delightful as Hook and the rest of the crew were, no one could ever steal the show from Ms. Rigby. She has been playing the role for decades, including a Broadway stint in the early 1990s that garnered her a Tony award nomination for her efforts and national tours that brought her to Scranton.
“Peter Pan” is a story about a boy who won’t grow up,
and Ms. Rigby, who turned 60 in December, seems ageless in the role. The former gymnast’s athleticism seemed as strong as ever as she did flips and handstands in the air, on the ground, on and off wires, and the audience welcomed her with a strong round of applause as she flew high above the boards, sprinkling fairy dust as she went.
When she and the Darling children took to the sky for the song “I’m Flying” and the journey to Neverland, Ms. Rigby’s antics reached dizzying new heights, much to the delight of the crowd. It would be difficult to watch such a sequence and not break into a smile.
The acrobatic skills continued with Tiger Lily, whose dancing was particularly impressive, and the numerous children in the crowd seemed to get a kick out of the action and colorful characters. Also standouts were the sets, intricate pieces that captured the whimsy and magic of the story from the second the curtain rose on the lavish Victorian nursery, the wilds of Neverland and Hook’s imposing ship.
“Peter Pan” is more of an adventure than anything, and while it boasts enjoyable songs like “Neverland” and “Ugg a Wugg,
” it’s the flying and action that audiences will remember.
Broadway Theatre League will present four more performances of “Peter Pan” this weekend at the cultural center. Just make sure you stick around through the curtain call you won’t want to miss Ms. Rigby’s last flight.