‘Peter Pan’ with Cathy Rigby a must-see for children and adults

By: By Carol Feineman News Messenger Editor
-A +A


Know and Go:

What: “Peter Pan”

When: Showtimes 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26 – 30. Matinee performances at 2 p.m. Dec. 27, 29 and 30.

Where: Community Center Theater,    Sacramento

Admission: $19-$86. Tickets available at 557-1999; 808-5181; the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office at 1419 H St., Sacramento; Community Center Theater Box Office, 13th & L St., Sacramento and online at

Info: or 557-1999.

“Peter Pan” brings the child out in everyone.

That’s according to Cathy Rigby, nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical in 1991 when she starred in the 35th anniversary of “Peter Pan” on Broadway.  The former gymnastics legend of 12 international medals has performed in “Peter Pan’s” title role for 30 years.

Her gymnastics training prepared her for “the physical aspects of flying, the attitude of being fearless” needed in the “Peter Pan” role.  

Rigby appears in the Broadway Sacramento “Peter Pan” production from Dec. 26 to Dec. 30.

“Becoming this character has allowed me to live as a child, at least for two hours a night,” Rigby said. “Live young on stage, that s a blessing. It carries on to your adult life.”

Rigby appreciates characteristics seen in children.

“Look at your kids when you play with them, it’s joyful, it’s amazing,” Rigby explained. “You smile more, laugh more, feel physically more fit. For any adult, being able to play is important; they do that in business because it cuts down barriers and allows you to be creative.”

The musical, about a boy who won’t grow up in Neverland and is “the lost boys” leader, is for all ages.

“What I’m finding after the shows, many have a history going back when they were a child. It’s become a tradition that they bring their children and see it through their eyes and remember what they felt at that age,” Rigby said. “When Sir James Barrie wrote ‘Peter Pan,’ he so understood our experiences with growing up and getting older – the innocence lost, that life gets to you and you lose that everything is possible. You can be a fireman to a princess to an astronaut when you live in Neverland and watch this boy play with such passion and emotion and gusto, the sense of mischief. Kids are so direct and honest and say what’s on their mind. We watch that as adults, longing to be like that again.”

And children, Rigby said, “are effortless in their movement, emotions.”

“They don’t edit, for the most part,” Rigby added. “If you say, ‘let’s climb out to that tree,’ they’ll do it. They’re not afraid to try things until they get older.”

Joining Rigby is Broadway’s Brent Barrett as Mr. Darling/Hook; Kim Crosby returns to Broadway Sacrament as Mrs. Darling.

Since 1990, “Peter Pan” starring Rigby has earned four Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical.