Believe in this High Flying Peter Pan
Starlight Theatre Association
Sometimes it's all about what you believe. If you believe that you can sit at an outdoor theatre on a 105 degree day and be okay, you can. If you believe that despite the heat a strong and appreciative audience will also show up, they will. And, if you believe that a fifty year old woman can make you feel like a boy can fly, he will. Oh boy, will he fly.
Starlight Theatre seems extra giddy to be bringing "Peter Pan" to Kansas City audiences. "For many Kansas Citians and especially for Starlight patrons, Peter Pan was the first Broadway show they ever saw. It's so fun to see parents and grandparents continuing the tradition of introducing the next generation to musical theater with this show," said Denton Yockey, president and executive producer of Starlight Theatre. "It's a great story that has everything: pirates, Indians, mermaids, crocodiles, fairies – and best of all, flying. Plus, this show has Cathy Rigby. She is amazing! Audiences will get to see her fly over the Starlight stage performing more aerial choreography than ever before" he said.
Despite all of the enthusiasm, it was a wilted audience who sat down for the first act. The drought and high temps in the area did not deter a fairly large crowd of families from attending considering the weather. The first act drags a little until the first appearance of "Peter" but it quickly paid off as Rigby and the talented rigging crew brought us more aerial acrobatics than we are used to.
Those familiar with this show and others that involve flying have often seen people flown to the heights or rocking from side to side. But this Peter flies, spins, flips and is very agile. In fact, for most of Act One the wiring was nearly invisible.
Rigby has been doing this show on and off for over twenty years. She has an understanding of the character and a familiarity with Sir J. M. Barrie's world that is very in depth. She knows when to when to be curious, when to be sad and when to be bold. Her portrayal often makes you forget she is not a boy. An odd compliment to be sure but an apt one.
She is surrounded by an excellent troupe of performers. Some of the most polished and tightly choreographed children ever to be seen on stage, some excellent dancers, and a great supporting cast. Of particular note among the cast is Brent Barrett in the dual role of Father Darling and Captain Hook. His captain is part Disney and part swashbuckler and he fills out the well-known character without being a caricature. Also providing notable performances were Kim Crosby (Mother Darling and other parts), James Leo Ryan (Smee), and Jenna Wright (Tiger Lily).
In the traditional Starlight pre-show speech, Yockey promised an amazing curtain call. In fact, they delivered. Do you believe? You will after this production.
Tickets for Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan are $10 to $85 and are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight Box Office at 4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park. Discount prices for groups of 15 or more are available. The show runs until July 29th.