Two of my favorites were the play Sylvia, because I'm such an animal lover, and Cat in the Hat in Seussical. That role taught me a lot about spontaneity as well...and ad-libbing. I think the one I enjoyed acting-wise was playing MaLynne in Steel Magnolias. I have so much respect for people who do drama 8 times a week. It took every available emotion that I had to maintain it. Those are shows that are hard to do.
What about Mammy Yokum in Reprise's L'il Abner? You were terrific in that role too.
That was great fun. It's a little odd to look at yourself in the mirror and play a really old, goofy-looking part but it was a blast. It was one of those roles where you get to be on and off stage and doesn't take that much effort but you just play funny. A role I would love to do sometime is Madame Thenardier in Les Mis. I was thinking about that as I watched Les Mis at the movies the other day. I thought, "That would be a great role!" I thought in the movie the role was kind of brushed over with a lot of schtick but I love it. It would be kind of up my alley as a character, especially as I get older.
What other roles would you like to play?
Anything. I would love to do anything from movies to television...Dancing with the Stars too. (she laughs) Probably when I get off the road, I'll stay home for a little while and do more regional work.
Anything else that you'd like to mention?
We have a conservatory of the arts for children that is near and dear to our hearts in Yorba Linda. There are about 500 students. Some of these kids are the most amazing, up and coming singer/dancer/actors.I don't know if it's So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol that's inspired these kids, but I'm watching these young folk grow up and become...have you ever seen Theatre Under the Stars in Texas?
No, I've never been to Texas.
They have a program there for their kids that has been around for over 20 years. They send out into the theatre world these wonderful young actors. So we're doing that as well in Yorba Linda. I'm so proud of that.
Do you have any idols or mentors that have had stimulated your career over the years?
I admire and respect lots of people. Marty Wiviott has been one of those people who has believed in me... and Glenn Casale (director). They've been coaches to me. I must say too that when you have a great partner and husband for 31 years - Tom McCoy - he has been my biggest champion in helping me believe in myself.
I've seen all the Peter Pans except Maude Adams...Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan...they were all wonderful, but you are by far the best. I've seen you do the show twice already and look forward to seeing it again opening night, Tuesday the 15th.
Thank you, Don. See you Tuesday!... One of these days, you'll have to fly. (we laugh)
See the amazing Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan at the Pantages for two weeks only January 15 - 27!
NOTE: Cathy Rigby is the 2012 BWW Award winner as Best Actress in a Musical (Touring) for Peter Pan, as well as recipient of the Eddon Award for Best Lead Performance - Grigware Picks His Best of LA Theatre for 2012.