Brigadoon

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lernerbrigadoon by lerner & Loewe at light opera works

Music by Frederick Loewe

Stage Direction & choreographer Rudy Hogenmiller

Conductor Roger L. Bingaman

Produced by Light Opera Works

Soaring score charms and sweetly depicts Scottish culture

Brigadoon, a 1947 Broadway  musical and a hit 1954 film with Gene Kelly, with fabulous Scottish influenced music by Frederick Loewe, has emerged into a tuneful evening of musical theatre at Cahn Auditorium. This sweetly charming ethnic fable contains wonderful dances and several exquisite romantic ballads.

brigadoon by lerner & Loewe at light opera works

Two Americans are on a hunting trip to the rural highlands of Scotland 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) and the girls wishing for a mate.

The groom, Charles (Brandon Moorhead) and the men sing the rousing dance tune “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean.” After the love-starved American, Tommy (the golden-voiced Robert Hunt) and the sensual Fiona flirt producing sparks, they sing the enchanting romantic “The Heather on the Hill’ that affirms their mutual interest.

brigadoon by lerner & Loewe at light opera works

Meggie Portman plays the comic love-starved maiden with aplomb 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. Hunt and Sophis marvelously nail 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.”

brigadoon by lerner & Loewe at light opera works

Robert Hunt nails the ballad “There But for You Go.” But time is running out for Brigadoon as the town comes to life  just one day every 100 years. The Scottish mythical fable has rules that only love can makes exceptions with as the charming villagers struggle to maintain their existence and live within the magic rules. Can true love lead to an outsider becoming a villager in Brigadoon?  Come to Cahn Auditorium to see a lush, lovely and lively Light Opera Works production of Brigadoon. You’ll see and hear the entire score without any cuts and you’ll witness expert dance numbers filled with grace and charm. This wonderful show is in good hands with Rudy Hogenmiller and the creatives at Light Opera Works. The full 24 member orchestra nimbly presents Loewe’s haunting score. It is so refreshing to see classic shows like Brigadoon done exactly like the original productions.  This is a fabulous show worthy of an audience.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in chic ago podcast

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2011

For more info checkout the Brigadoon page on www.theatreinchicago.com

At Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston, IL, call847-869-6300, www.light-opera-works.org, tickets $32 – $48- $77 – $92, Wednesday June 8 at 2 pm, Friday, June 10 at 8 pm, Saturday, June 11 at 8pm, Sunday, June 12 at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 45 minutes with intermission, through June 12, 2011

Here is a sample from the film: