Music by Frederick Loewe
Revised Book by Brian Hill
Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell
Musical Direction by Roberta Duchak
At the Goodman Theatre, Chicago
Thrilling and beautifully stage Scottish Myth sings and dances into out hearts!
Until Rachel Rockwell and the creatives at the Goodman Theatre have put their considerable skills and assists in use has there been a major remount and revised production of Brigadoon. This 1947 Broadway musical and a hit 1954 film with Gene Kelly, with fabulous Scottish influenced music by Frederick Loewe, upon the lush lyrics and fine book by Alan Jay Lerner, has emerged into a tuneful evening of magical musical theatre! This sweetly charming ethnic fable contains wonderful dances and several exquisite romantic ballads but the sheer charm and wholesomeness of the morality indeed get us to believe that anything is possible if you love hard enough. There is much to love in this fabulous production.
Brigadoon finds two Americans are on a hunting trip to the rural highlands of Scotland in 1946 when they encounter a heavenly mist that carries them into a quaint old fashion Scottish village filled with folks dressed in traditional 18th Century costumes complete with kilted men and bonnet wearing women. There is a charming spirit in this village deftly depicted by the ensemble numbers “Brigadoon” and “Vendors’ Calls.” The atmosphere of a quaint time when folks got along and peace prevailed as the villagers get ready for a wedding with songs like “Down on MacConnachy Square,” “Waitin’ for My Dearie’ – that finds Fiona (Jennie Sophia revising her role from the 2011 Light Opera works production) as the girl wishing for a mate. There is to be a wedding in Brigadoon this night.
The groom, Charles (Jordon Brown) and the men sing the rousing dance tune “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean.” After the love-starved American, Tommy Albright (Kevin Early) and the sensual Fiona flirt producing sparks, they sing the enchanting romantic ballad “The Heather on the Hill” that affirms their mutual interest.
Meggie Portman, who revisits the role of Meg Brockie, plays the comic love-starved maiden with feisty energy as she bring the house down with “The Love of My Life.” Tommy and Fiona seal their love with the duet “Almost Like Being in Love” – the most famous song from the show. Early and Sophis marvelously soar to the heavens in this terrific tune- sparks do fly!Brigadoon is a fine ethnic dance show that beautifully showcases traditional Scottish step dancing and sensual ballets in “Jeanie’s Pickin’ Up’ and the showstopping “Wedding Ceremony/Sword Dance and Reel.” Bagpipes, colorful costumes together with expert dancing fuel the pageantry of traditional Scottish culture.