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Peter Pan at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden

November 3, 2011 - by City Guide

The story of Peter Pan has always held a special fascination for children of all ages, and for great reason. It offers a swashbuckling adventure combined with some of man’s most secret desires: to fly and to explore a world somewhere beyond the stars, and to never grow old.

Tony Award nominee and two-time Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby takes to the skies once again as “the boy who wouldn’t grow up” when Peter Pan soars into the Theater at Madison Square Garden with an all-new production from December 14-31, 2011. Rigby has played the role over 3,000 times, but this marks the first time the show has been in the Big Apple since 2005.

Rigby's name is practically synonymous with Peter's, having played the part on Broadway, on major National Tours during the 1990-91 seasons, in the revival in 1998, in the Emmy Award-winning A&E special, and in 2005. The newly enhanced show will feature more elaborate and expansive sets and staging, as well as more intricate and bold, eye-popping flying scenes, which will be a huge hit with children and adults alike. People of all ages will be transported to Neverland like never before.

The character of Peter Pan was first mentioned in a 1902 book by Sir James M. Barrie (he was knighted in 1913) entitled The Little White Bird. In 1904, the character of Peter was perfected and became the lead character in the full length play, Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. In 1911, Barrie turned this popular play into a novel called Peter and Wendy. The play also has strong roots in the reality of Barrie’s life. Like Peter Pan, Barrie was a boy who refused to grow up. He took elements of his own life -- such as his awkwardness with, yet dependence upon, women, his love of children, and his own longing for childhood -- shaping them into one of the most-loved stories of all time. Barrie came up with the last name Pan based on Greek mythology. Pan was the Greek god that symbolized natural forces. Pan was the ancient god of forest, flocks and
shepherds. Peter’s enchanted Pan-side granted him the power to remain a child forever.

Peter Pan recounts the adventures of three Darling children as they fly away from their nursery into the magic and marvel of Neverland. It is in Neverland that they encounter the cunning and evil Captain Hook, his villainous pirates, a crafty crocodile, and a sprightly fairy, Tinker Bell.

Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan will run through December 30. Prices range from $35 to $75, with $99 VIP seating available. Tickets are available here or at the Madison Square Garden Box Office (4 Penn Plaza, directly behind the 7th Avenue mall at Seventh Ave. & 32nd St.). Tickets may also be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 866-858-0008.

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