Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 Interview with Cathy Rigby

Actress/singer Cathy Rigby is preparing to open as the Cat in the Hat in 3-D Theatricals' production of Seussical February 7. Rigby talks about her love of the role and other theatrical delights.

Why is the Cat in the Hat a favorite role of yours?  I saw you play it at your theatre many years ago.

Although the Cat seems to create chaos… His main objective in this play is to help "Jojo" understand that his imagination and creativity are wonderful!!! As well as valuable, and practical! In this story, Jojo's "Thinks" help him to save "Whoville" and all the people who live there. 

As with Peter Pan you bring such a sense of wonderment and fun to it. Audiences of all ages seem to take to the piece. Why do you think this is so?

Whether you are an adult or a child there is something for everyone…The characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude Mcfuzz, The WHO's ,  the Sour Kangaroo…JoJo etc.  in Seussical, are trying to figure out how to fit in, have their voice heard, deal with war, and many other personal and social issues. (Ie ,War, bullies,  hypocrites… "Being different" hopes, dreams etc.) It's all done with beautiful lighting, whimsical characters and most of all fantastic music by Lynn Ahrens  and Stephen  Flaherty. 

How is it working with 3-D Theatricals? To me their professionalism is a perfect match for what you and Tom have established at La Mirada. You make it worth traveling south to see a show.

It's really quite exciting to work as a real theater community.  3-D theatricals has been a real friend to McCoy Rigby Entertainment and the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts. We all want to do great work and higher talented theater folks, whether it's artistic directors, actors, musicians, crew, front-of-house ushers...We are all part of an effort to keep theater alive and well and growing in Southern California.

Talk a little about your cast and director for Seussical.

I've worked with a few people before but many of the actors are new to me. But once you work with a cast and crew they become part of your extended family. That's the great part of our rather "Gypsy style" working situations. You meet people very quickly, become close and then see them in another production somewhere. David Engel and I have done other productions. He worked with us at the La Mirada theater for the performing arts in a few shows and of course I worked with him in Seussical on Broadway. I love his passion and enthusiasm as a director and choreographer. Specially with this show because he started with it when it was just a workshop in NY. If anyone understands or has the insight into the characters, the music and the book it's David.  TJ Dawson is simply one of the most caring, passionate, and talented producers. We are very fortunate to have him in Orange County. 

When I last spoke to you, you told me you wanted to play Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables, so when you mounted it - beautiful production, by the way - at La Mirada, you didn't do it. What happened? I'd like to see you do this. Your sense of comedy and physicality are perfect for it.

Thank you for the compliment. Les Mis  turned out better than Tom and I could've ever hoped. Thanks to the incredible effort of all the artistic designers, actors, production staff and especially Dana Solimando who managed to stage many of those big scenes during our tech rehearsal. Les Mis was a huge undertaking. It's one thing when you have months and months to mount a show of this size and scope..vs three weeks, and as far as playing Madam T, I was so busy with our "McCoy Rigby Conservatory"in Yorba Linda, I thought it would be a bit much trying to take on a brand-new role like this and working with our kids. 

What else is in the air for the future for you and for your theatre?

Well our next production is the world premiere of Pride and Prejudice, and we are in talks with producers around the US, Canada, Asia and Europe to bring some of our La Mirada shows to their venues. 

Whatever Cathy Rigby puts her mind to, you can bet it's a worthwhile and entertaining venture. Catchher in Seussical for 3-D Theatricals in Fullerton and then in Redondo Beach at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Ticket info is at the link below.

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