Brigadoon, Featuring "Refreshed" Libretto, Opens Tonight; Kevin Earley, Rod Thomas and Jennie Sophia Star

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07 Jul 2014

Kevin Earley and Jennie Sophia
Kevin Earley and Jennie Sophia
Photo by Liz Lauren

The Goodman Theatre's new production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Brigadoon, helmed by Chicago director-choreographer Rachel Rockwell, officially opens July 7 following previews that began June 27 in the Albert Theatre.

"In every sense, Brigadoon is a dream piece: an emotionally rich story, romantic in the purest sense of the word, rendered against a glorious score and beautifully orchestrated story ballets — one of the things I enjoy most as a choreographer, but something few musicals have," said director Rockwell, who was approached by Lerner's daughter, Liza Lerner, to revive the work. "I'm thrilled and honored to collaborate with this incredible company of artists to give audiences a fresh look at a musical they've long known and loved."

The cast stars Kevin Earley (A Tale of Two Cities, Les Misérables) and Rod Thomas as Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas — the two American vacationers who stumble upon the mythical 18th century village of Brigadoon, which appears for only one day every 100 years — respectively. Jennie Sophia (South Pacific national tour) plays Fiona, the girl with whom Tommy falls in love.

To refresh the original book for Goodman's 2014 revival, director Rockwell enlisted librettist Brian Hill.

"Brigadoon is a classic for a reason, and we've approached this version with the care and respect that a classic deserves," said Hill, a Drama Desk Award-nominated librettist for The Story of My Life, in a previous statement. "We plan to rejuvenate the Goodman's Brigadoon in a way that still holds all of the magic, passion and spectacle that people remember."



Also in the cast are Larry Adams (Stuart Dalrymple), Jordan Brown (Charlie Dalrymple), Joseph Foronda (Archie Beaton), Rhett Guter (Harry Beaton), George Keating (Sandy Dean), Michael Aaron Lindner (Angus MacGuffie), Roger Mueller (Mr. Lundie), Maggie Portman (Meg Brockie), Olivia Renteria (Jean MacLaren), Emily Rohm (Jane Ashton), Katie Spelman (Maggie Anderson), Craig Spidle (Andrew MacLaren), Richard Strimer (Frank) and Rob Riddle (MacGregor).

Rounding out the ensemble are William Angulo, Stephanie Binetti, Jessica Blair, Courtney Cerny, Bryan Howard Conner, Tehran Dixon, Ann McMann, Jamy Meek, Drew Nellessen, Emma Rosenthal and Malachi Squires.

Performances continue in an extended engagement through Aug. 10.

An orchestra of 13 brings to life the score, which includes such memorable songs as "Almost Like Being in Love," "The Heather on the Hill," "Waitin' For My Dearie," "There But For You Go I" and "I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean."

Roberta Duchak is the music director, and Joshua Clayton is the orchestrator for the Goodman's production, which is conducted by assistant music director Valerie Maze.

The Goodman Theatre's box office is located at 170 North Dearborn. For more information and tickets, call (312) 443-3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org.

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Olivia Renteria, Jessica Blair and Courtney Cerny
Photo by Liz Lauren