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I only saw this production because I happened to find a VHS tape of it in a clearance rack in my local video store (and bought it for next-to-nothing). It is a new staging of the Broadway musical from the 1950's; this does not minimize its impact in any way, but there are many reviewers here who feel the need to make excessive (and in my opinion unfounded) comparisons between this production and the original one with Mary Martin- when, in fact, it is the same show. I have copies of both performances and primarily treasure the Martin production because of its historical significance as a time capsule of early television. This version with Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby version is brilliant; its presentation differs from the 1960 one as they captured an actual performance from a theater with an audience rather than tape on a network sound stage. As someone else noted below, Ms. Rigby's mannerisms and costuming better are indeed more boyish than Ms. Martin's (although I didn't care for Ms. Rigby's attempt at a British accent). The point is they each do it a little differently, Ms. Rigby opting for more exuberance. The book itself is a bit corny (doesn't matter which version), but chances are you're watching it with your own children or re-living your own childhood- and that's sort of the point. The Act 1 finale which shows Peter and the Darling clan fly out the window is stunning. Plan to lose yourself for two hours, and you'll probably believe you can fly when it's over.
This version of Peter Pan is almost exactly identical as Mary Martin's 1955 version. Cathy Rigby is excellent in the role of Peter Pan. I had no idea she could even sing! The children are adorable, as they were in the Mary Martin version. There are some differences, for instance, in this version, Liza, the maid is barely in it. I loved that about the 1955 version. The acting quality by everyone in this one is superb, as is the singing. The actor who played Captain Hook has an incredible singing voice, as does the actress who played Wendy. I was amazed at the similarities these two versions had in common. Those who are used to Mary Martin play Peter Pan may not enjoy this version as much because the two (Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby) get into the parts in their own ways. The comedic moments in this version are brought out a little more than they were in the 1955 version. In my opinion, both are ideal for the entire family.
Personally I can't stand Peter Pan.
However, my 5 year old daughter found this at the library and asked to borrow it, and I have to admit that it is a wonderful and funny performance. The songs are great (much to my annoyance I have even been discovered humming them to myself). Cathy Rigby is extremely well suited to the role of Peter Pan, and I loved Paul Schoeffler as Captain Hook/Mr Darling.
So even though I don't like Peter Pan I gave it 7/10 and am able to sit through certain bits as my daughter watches it over and over again (unfortunately I was persuaded to buy the video for her).
I for one, never liked the Mary Martin version. I always thought it was too
corny - good songs but BAD casting and worse lines. The mediocre sets and
costumes can be forgiven because it was the 50s, but there is no excuse for
casting a blonde Tiger Lily. The girl that played Wendy had the most
annoying voice in the world - thank God she never appeared in anything
Anyway, when I found out that they were releasing the Cathy Rigby version on DVD I couldn't wait to see it. Peter Pan is a wonderful show, it really is. It deserved a much better production than was out there, and Rigby's version is splendid! All of the actors were wonderful! I was SO happy with this Wendy who, for starters, has a lovely voice (what a concept!) and just seems to love her role. She plays Wendy throughout the entire show (grown up as well - in the Martin version the same annoying girl played Jane at the end which never made sense to me) so I was happy to see that.
Cathy Rigby is superb - she LOVES her part and just brings so much energy and love to her role as Peter that you get completely swept up into her world. I wonder how many Olympians, after retiring can say that they've been able to do something like that - playing the lead in Peter Pan - she just seems to be having the time of her life up there, and it's contagious!
I could go on and on, because this is just a beautiful production. Tiger Lily is beautiful and (surprise) actually looks like an Indian! She's a beautiful dancer too, I hope to see more of her in the future. Paul Schoeffler is the best Captain Hook I've ever seen, both as Hook and Mr. Darling he just had so much great appeal and charisma. I can't stop watching this movie! Five stars, 10/10, it's perfect!
I have seen several productions of Peter Pan and this has to be my
It has the lighthearted appeal of the original story, with colorful and
imaginative sets and costumes that are a joy to see. While children can
enjoy the story as a new experience, those of us who are adults can enjoy
the acting skills, as well as the stunning special effects. While they
be commonplace on most videos which were movies, the flying alone is a
While I know that there are those who see Mary Martin as the ONLY Peter Pan, in the spirit of Peter Pan, I just have to say "phft-ft-ft-ft!" Mary Martin was always just Mary Martin playing a role. While with Cathy Rigby, I actually found myself forgetting that it was a woman, and not a young boy playing Peter Pan.
Yes, the production is lavish. But the performance is wonderful! Cathy Rigby comes across as a real boy: innocently cruel and noble in equal measure. Most kid's fairy tales are rather um, grim -- and this one is no exception.
I have seen both the Mary Martin version and this version, and even though I have fond memories of watching the Mary Martin version when I was younger, I enjoyed this one a lot more. The Mary Martin version was excellent, don't get me wrong, but while watching it, you consciously think to yourself,"This is a woman playing a little boy." In many ways, this can ruin the experience. In the Cathy Rigby version, Rigby acts as a little boy would. She uses the gestures a boy would, she moves as a boy would, and when delivering her lines and singing you actually believe that she is a little boy that just did not want to grow up. Elisa Sagardia was also wonderfully enchanting in her role as Wendy. When watching it you feel as if Wendy is your own sister or mother. Everything is an improvement from the Mary Martin version-the pirates are animated and hilarious, the lost boys are also quite funny and child-like, the Indians have wonderful dance sequences and you almost feel hypnotized while watching them. I suppose it is a matter of taste and what appeals to you more-charming, quaint, heart-warming productions, or believable, spectacular, animated, eye-catching, mind boggling, rhythmic, hypnotic productions. Out of 10 stars, I give it a solid 7 1/2.
JM Barrie's Peter Pan is a classic for children and adults alike, Peter
is not the most likable of characters but it is very meaningful,
heart-warming, dark, charming and surprisingly complex as
well(especially with the character of Captain Hook). This 2000 Broadway
production is magnificent and captivating all the way through, there
will always be a fondness for the Mary Martin version but in my
personal opinion this one eclipses it in almost every way, though the
ending has more of an emotional impact in the Martin version. What is
remarkable about this production is not just how charming and
light-hearted it is, to the extent that older audiences will feel like
a child again in a good way, but how it's not afraid in bringing out
the darker aspects of the story, the mermaids are quite evil here. Very
faithful in detail and spirit. Even more remarkable is how it works on
its own and as a musical. The production values are lavish, the
costumes are fitting for the characters and the settings for the
nursery and Marauders Rock- very creepy- are really effective. The
rustic setting for the underground house appeals too. The music is
rousing and beautiful, Peter's song(s) in the nursery and the numbers
with the pirates and Hook were particularly great. The flying effects
looked magical, the special effects are well incorporated and the
choreography is full of life, especially with the Indians and pirates.
The dialogue is both heart-warming and funny, you will shed a tear or two at the end and Hook and Smee's interactions are an immense joy to watch. The production is full of energy throughout, with the comedy and drama always convincing. The performances are spot on, especially from Cathy Rigby and Paul Schoeffler. Rigby is wonderfully boyish, and her performance is full of charisma, energy, comic timing and likability. She is also very athletic and has an amazing, powerful voice, all of this makes up for an accent that comes and goes(in fact a couple of the accents on the whole can sound a tad overdone), considering how so good her performance overall that feels like nothing. Schoeffler's baritone voice is rich and warm, he even hits some great top As and A flats. And his Hook from the facial expressions to how he uses his voice is hilarious without ever feeling like a buffoon. He succeeds also in bringing out some menacing aspects in the capture of Wendy, her brothers and the Lost Boys and with the poison, so while his performance is primarily on the comedy side it doesn't feel entirely done-for-laughs. Eliza Sangardia brings great charm to Wendy and gives the character great spunk, she does have a beautiful voice(much more appealing than the Wendy in the Mary Martin version) that you wish you heard more of. Wendy's brothers and the Lost Boys are full of enthusiasm and none of them show signs of fatigue or nerves, while Tiger Lily's athletic dancing is just jaw-dropping and the pirates are the very meaning of rollicking. All in all, hugely entertaining and magnificent in quality, an absolute must. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thus should have been better. The production values are far superior to
the 1960 Mary Martin version which, sadly, is only available in bootleg
copies of unknown quality. (Why doesn't NBC re-release it?)
Cathy Rigby does a very good job of recreating the role, but in the close-ups she looks so much older than 40, and somehow older than Mary Martin. This detracts from the "youthful" look the character should have. Too bad she didn't make it when she was much younger.
If you have never seen the 1960 Mary Martin version, you will probably like this version as the production values are first-rate and even the flying and acrobatics are better. However, NOBODY can re-create the performances of Mary Martin and Cyril Richard (as Capt. Hook)---they own the roles. Small children who have never seen the original version will probably love it.
Minor faults: 1. The "Take your medicine" scene and "clap if you believe in fairies" scenes lack the "heart" of the original. 2. Capt. Hook is far more cruel in this version, and the mermaids are evil, which is closer to the Barrie story.
Be aware that various "bootlegs" of the Mary Martin 1960 version are available. Watching them is like viewing a movie with your glasses off: The sound in good but the picture is fuzzy. Also, they are DVD-R's, which are not known to be very durable or long-lasting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have always adored Peter Pan since I was a little girl and i still do love it. When I was going to go and see Cathy Rigby preform live as Peter Pan i didn't know what too expect because Mary Martin did a spectacular job and the Disney film was excellent as well. When the music started up I knew this was going to be a brilliant performance of Peter Pan. The stunts were fantastic, the singing was amazing, and the acting did have some faults at times but you forget all about them as soon as a new song comes on. The harness stunts (in I'm Flying) and the drum stick choreography (in Ugh-a-Wugg) blew me away. to sum it all up if u love musicals, amazing choreography and a great story line, Peter pan is one of the musicals for u to enjoy.
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