Offbeat: Peter Pan

By Bob Snell - bio | email feedback

BRANSON, MO (KAIT) - The boy who never grew up makes his debut in Branson with the girl who never grew up. At 57 years old, former Olympic Gymnast, Cathy Rigby, is reprising her role as Peter Pan, at The Mansion theater.

"I think it generational," said Rigby. "Parents remember the magic they felt when they saw it for the first time. then they bring they're kids to it. If they're a kid, they believe or at least want to believe."

And those new generations are what keep Rigby on the stage, first performing as Pan back in 1974.  Since that first performance, she's danced, sang, and flown for audiences around the world, more than 3000 times.

"I fly through that window and become Peter. its all about being spontaneous, child like and mischievious," said Rigby. "It beats any 9 to 5 job, it's really kind of fun. You know for 8 shows a week, I get to be a kid again, that's not hard to keep fresh."

But at age 57, Rigby says keeping yourself physically fresh, is a different story, adding it all starts with the very first scene.

"He flys through the window and never stops talking, jumping, and climbing," said the 2-time Olympian.  "I sing three songs in that scene. plus I'm flying all over, and I'm in the aeriel ballet."

This is the first time the broadway style production has come to Branson and it's Rigby's first visit to the "live" entertainment mecca.

"We can do things here we can't do around the country or even on broadway," said Rigby. "The production values here and the light and the sound and the rear projection, it just makes it more magical. Plus the talent pool we chose from to fill out the cast was incredible."

That magic is being spread to a whole new generation, thanks in part to Cathy Rigby, her alter ego, and her refusal to grow old.

"Like Peter said, I don't want to do that, there's enough in my life of solemn things," said Rigby. "Actually, it makes me very happy to play this role. As hard as it is and physically demanding as it is, when you have kids comign up to you and saying Peter will you take me to Neverland with you, I wouldn't give it up for anything. I had a farewell tour and I said, enough of that, I want to go back and be a kid."

Cathy Rigby, as Peter Pan, will be performing in Branson through the December Holiday season. For more information and show times at The Mansion Theater go to http://www.themansiontheatre.com/show_peter_pan.php

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