For someone approaching 90, Peter Pan is amazingly agile and fleet of foot with an incredible "young at heart" approach to life.
Some folks in their late 80s (the ones who aren't into jogging or backpacking or aquarobics) might be content to just sit in the old rocker on the front porch and reminisce about the good old days--back when youthful truants were li'l whippersnappers instead of being the products of "dysrfunctional" backgrounds, when milk was usually fresh from Farmer John's cow instead of being delivered in biodegradable plastic containers, when "gay" signified the genteel Nineties of a century ago rather than a controversial lifestyle, and when there were wonderful storytellers--like James M. Barrie-- who could spin magical yarns about boys awho refused to grow up."Peter Pan," for instance.
Born in 1902 by way of Barrie's prolific pen, this story of fantasy and wonder has endured for nearly a century in one form or another--on film, on television and (surely the most magical of all) on the stage.
Which must prove that you can't keep a good man -- or a feisty lad -- down.
Peter Pan, at 88, is certainly not content to be consigned to the old folks home.
Now, with lively and limber Cathy Rigby as the newest kid on the block to don Peter Pan's green costume and adventuresome persona, the "boy who would not grow up" is performing aerial cartwheels and midair magic with the greatest of ease.
What's the scret of Peter Pan's ever-youthful outlook on life?
You can find out for yourself firthand when Rigby's critically acclaimed new production of the 1954 musical rolls into town for eight performances at the Capitol Theatre from Sept. 5 through 9.
Peter Pan's "father" was British author/playwright James Matthew Barrie, who first introduced Peter as just one character in several chapters of a book titled "The Little White Bird," in 1902. Then, Peter himself became so famous that, two years later, the hero and his adventures with the Darling children in Never-never Land became the central plot in one of the best-loved dramas of all time, "Peter Pan."
It's been done on stage as both a straight drama and a musical, and as a classic animated film from the Walt Disney studios.
By the time Barrie died at the age of 77 in 1937, "Peter Pan" was already well-established as a hero of legendary proportions.
The green-clad lad has been permanently memorialized with statue in Kensington Gardens, London, where Barrie was inspired to write his delightful fantasy.
*CHILDREN'S DISCOUNTS of $5 off on virtually all tickets across the board for all matinee and evening performances were announced Wednesday by the promoters for "Peter Pan."
There had been some conern that most tickets being sold for the eight-performance run were in pairs--indicating that parents were buying tickets, but not purchasing any for their children.
Granted, for Utah audiences accustomed to paying somewhere in the $5 to $10 range for family shows and usually less than $10 for family entertainment such as the circus and ice shows, it must come as something of a Box-Office Shock to suddenly be donfronted by Broadway touring show prices ranging from $18.50 on the low end to $32.50. But even these are bargain rates, when you could be spending twice that or more on the Great White Way.
Nancy Richter of Entertainment Media in Seattle, who's helping publicize the show, called to explain that she and the promoters had decided that, because Utah has such a high concentration of large families, they would offer children's discounts.
"Peter Pan" opens Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Capitol Theatre, where it continues through Sunday, Sept. 9, for eight performances.
Showtimes and adult ticket prices are:
--Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m., $21 and $27
--Thursday, Sept 6, 2 and &:30 p.m. ($18.50 to $24.50 for the matinee and $23.50 to $29.50 in the evening).
--Friday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m. ($26.50 to $32.50).
--Saturday, Sept. 8,2 and 7:30 p.m., ticket prices the same as Friday.
--Sunday, Sept. 9, 1 and 5:30 p.m., prices the same as Friday.
For children's seating, subtract $5 from the prices lited above.
Tickets are available at the Salt Palace box office and all Smith's Tix outlets. (Will-call tickets will be available at the Capitol Theatre box office immediately prior to performances. )
To charge tickets by telephone, call 363-7681 or (toll-free) 1 (800) 888-7469. For group discounts, call 262-4895.