A woman who gained international fame as an Olympic gymnast more than three decades ago is touching down in central Iowa today (Tuesday) for her final performances in the state in the lead role of “Peter Pan.” Cathy Rigby has been playing the role of the magical young boy for 20 years and says this tour will be her last. Rigby says “I’ve done the role about 26-hundred times and I love it and it’s just the most incredible show that I’ve ever done, but…you know you want to stay at the top of your game and yet it should be the last one.” She says the show is very demanding physically and vocally and she wants to quit while she’s still doing it well. So after 26-hundred performances, how does she keep each show as fresh as the last one — or the first one? She says stepping into the shoes of a child or into a fantasy world like Peter Pan, while “flying” around the stage, there is so much magic and dancing incorporated into the show that it’s always spontaneous and like reliving your childhood every day. The movie “Finding Neverland” is still playing in Des Moines, reflecting on the life of the author who penned the play “Peter Pan” a century ago. Rigby says that film has helped inspire larger audiences to her stage production.Rigby calls James Barrie “an amazing, unique talented man” who captured everyone’s imagination and attention with the magical tale. Rigby is 52-years-old, a mother of four and stands four-foot-11. She plans to finish this tour and return to southern California, where she and her husband run a theatre company. “Peter Pan” opens tonight at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines and runs through Sunday.
You are here: / / Former gymnast flies into Iowa as Peter Pan