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April 26, 2013

Forever Young

Cathy Rigby takes her final flights as 
'Peter Pan' at The Wang in Boston

When Cathy Rigby takes flight at The Wang Citi Performing Arts Center, she’ll be coming full circle in what will be her last run in a long career portraying Peter Pan.

“Our first national Broadway tour started in Boston at The Colonial and now the show is ending there at The Wang,” she said in a telephone interview.

The show runs through Sunday in Boston.

“The very first national Broadway tour was in 1989 to ’90,” she recalled. “A Boston theater reviewer who was not known for being very kind gave us a great review, which really gave us a great beginning. If it wasn’t for this review, I don’t know whether New York would have brought us in.”

Rigby, a one-time Olympic gymnast who has played the part of the boy who wouldn’t grow up for more than two decades and 3,000 performances, says this will be her last tour.

“I’ve done four, each lasting a year or two with stops in New York,” said Rigby, 60. “This is the last one and I feel like it’s honestly the best one. We’ve gotten the best reviews ever. It’s funny when you relax and enjoy and know a role so well it becomes effortless.”

The stage production of “Peter Pan” is based upon J.M. Barrie’s 1904 story probing the possibilities of eternal youth and the wonders of Neverland. Peter Pan flies through the window of the nursery at the Darling family home in London. Accompanied by his fairy, Tinkerbell, he is on a quest to retrieve the shadow he left behind on a previous visit.

Earlier in the evening, Mr. Darling banished Nana, the family pet and child care provider, outside to the dog house. The children are unhappy and that makes it a particularly prime time for Peter to entice daughter Wendy to accompany him to Neverland, where no one ever grows up and a band of Lost Boys is in need of a mother.

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