Brigadoon at the Goodman
It's been some time since I walked up the aisle with the melodies I had just heard from a stage musical in my mind, never to be forgotten.The Goodman Theatre's spirited revisionist revival of Lerner & Loewe's Brigadoon has brought back one of the theatre's most memorable scores, familiar of course to those of us who grew up in the 50's, but more than a few younger members of the audience were joining in.
With the full cooperation of Alan Jay Lerner's daughter, Liza, director/choreographer, Rachel Rockwell has kept this charming, romantic fantasy as it was originally conceived back in 1947, but updated the book (story) for audiences of today. Let's face it; jokes that were funny then, don't make much sense today. The dancing that was always an integral part of the story has also been expanded using many traditional Scottish Highland Flings.
Brigadoon tells the tale of two Americans on vacation in Scotland. Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas find themselves in a strange village, not on any map, and populated by people from another century. They've discovered, Brigadoon, once a bustling town, but now only appearing for one day every 100 years. They are greeted warmly but cautiously with one exception when a flirtatious dairy maid takes an immediate liking for Jeff and despite the fact that Tommy is going to be married when they get back to New York he finds the beautiful Fiona someone he'd like to know better.
There's a problem however and they learn it from the local schoolmaster. All citizens of Brigadoon are forbidden to leave the town, or it will disappear forever and outsiders can stay only if they fall in love. This begins a charming, warm and entertaining evening that has humor, suspense, drama and above all a musical score to cherish. Songs like "Almost Like Being In Love", "The Heather on the Hill", "Come to Me, Bend to Me" and the unforgettable and powerful "There But For You Go I", are among some of the best songs Broadway has ever given us.
The company of 28 actors, dancers and singers has been well cast with some marvelous choral work. Scenic design gives us an authentic feeling for the picturesque Scottish background and costuming is colorful and looks quite authentic. There's an orchestra of 13, using new orchestrations as well as Scottish tenor drum, soprano recorder, penny whistles and of course, Bagpipes to evoke the sounds of 18th century Scotland. I'd put this one on my "must see" list.
Brigadoon will play thru August 17th at the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn. Tickets at 312-443-3800 or at Goodman Theatre.org/Brigadoon