Brigadoon, Revised, Will Materialize at Chicago's Goodman in 2014
By Kenneth Jones
Brigadoon, the musical fantasy of two Americans stumbling onto a Scottish village lost in time, will get a major revival by Goodman Theatre in Chicago in summer 2014. With permission from the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe estates, Chicago director-choreographer Rachel Rockwell "will consider some revisions to the book for this production."
The 1947 musical, with book and lyrics by Lerner and music by Loewe, includes the songs "Almost Like Being in Love," "The Heather On the Hill," "There But For You Go I," "Waitin' for My Dearie" and more. At turns comic and rueful, the show — inspired by a European myth — offered post-war audiences in a booming America an escape to a colorful, simpler time and place. (Agnes de Mille, who originally created the dances, drawing on Scottish traditions, won the 1947 Tony Award for Choreography.)
In the past decade, a revised version of the show was being developed for Broadway, but that production never materialized. M-G-M made a film version of the show, starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.
Here's how Goodman bills the classic: "When American tourists Tommy and Jeff get lost on vacation in Scotland they stumble into Brigadoon, a mythical 18th-century village that appears for only one day every 100 years. No outsider can stay in Brigadoon unless they fall in love, and no resident can ever leave or the village will vanish forever. But when Tommy falls for a village girl, he is forced to choose between returning to the world that he knows — or taking a chance on life and love in the mysterious Brigadoon."
"I am privileged to be given the opportunity to revive this beautiful story of faith and the transcendence of love," multiple Jeff Award winner Rockwell said in a statement. "As a director-choreographer, I look forward to exploring the narrative potential of all of the extraordinary music. As always, the challenge will be to preserve what is beloved in this iconic musical, while finding a new emotional depth for the characters and raising the stakes on the journey."
Her current and upcoming projects in Chicago include The Music Man (through Feb. 3 at Paramount Theatre), Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet (Feb. 23-March 23 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Oliver! (April 4-June 2 at Drury Lane).
Lerner and Loewe are also known for their scores to Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot.
Only Goodman subscribers and groups are guaranteed priority access to Brigadoon tickets. Dates for the show, as well as other titles for the 2013-14 season, will be announced later. For subscription information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org.
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