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a Musical Comedy
by Lerner & Lowe

COMPANY : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4436

SHOWING : April 05, 2013 - April 21, 2013



The story takes place somewhere in the past in a mystical village in the Highlands of Scotland that time and Rand McNally have forgotten. The village appears for only one day every one hundred years. Two American tourists, Tommy and Jeff from New York, stumble upon Brigadoon on that one day, and a love story ensues with the lovely Fiona. Ageless musical numbers include “Almost Like Being In Love”.

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A Show for the Ages
by playgoer
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Lerner and Loewe's "Brigadoon" is a classic of the American musical theatre. Taking place in 1946, it expresses viewpoints that aren't always the most modern, but love at first sight is a pretty timeless concept. Here, though, when the male objects of desire are so much older than their female counterparts, there's a little bit of an icky feel.

Apart from Tim Quigley as Mr. Lundie, none of the men are ideally cast. Drew Ferguson is an attractive Charles Dalyrmple, but doesn't have the clarion high notes his songs call for. David Anderson is a gawky Harry Beaton, more sullen than menacing. Gary Heffelfinger is a stalwart presence as Tommy Albright, not adequately balanced by John Certusi as his sidekick Jeff Douglas. Mr. Certusi has perhaps the best male voice in the show, but his is primarily a comic role, and his lines all seem to come half a beat late to land laughs.

The women are more appropriately cast. Taylor Cassell is a charming Jean MacClaren, and Tess Luman is a luminescent Maggie, bringing tons of stage presence to a small role. Lauren Gentile scores as Meg Brockie in her Georgia stage debut, combining verve, humor, and a great voice in the comic highlights of the show. Best of all is Carly Berg as Fiona MacClaren, singing with the voice of an angel and having the golden-tressed look to match.

The ensemble acquit themselves well, although the female chorus sounds a bit weak on the melody line. Choreographers Colleen Quigley and Lauren Gentile seem to have spent all their time on the first couple of numbers, giving them an over-choreographed feel, while the rest of the numbers seem to have been neglected. The dancing is fine, but there's either too much or too little of it at any one moment.

Costumes by Mary Ann Knight are great, given the number of tartans and kilts required. The set, by Jim Fambrough, excels in its fixed portions -- a rocky hillock stage right, a bowered shack left, and segments of a stone church upstage. The movable set pieces are less successful in an artistic sense, but serve their purposes. The opening speech noted that fog effects would be used, but the only evidence was the distracting sound of a machine trying to work.

Musical direction by Ruth Purcell and Michael Arens has helped all the cast to sound their best, but sound amplification by Glenn Whitehead seems nonexistent in the offstage intro ("Brigadoon") and then cuts in and out in later musical numbers. Pre-recorded orchestral intros were used at the start of the show and to introduce the New York segment, and they seemed a bit jarring in contrast to the able piano accompaniment by Ruth Purcell.

The Holly Theater's production lets all the qualities of "Brigadoon" shine through. It's not a perfect production by any means, but it looks and sounds good. Alan Jay Lerner's book keeps the action moving, leading the audience to a satisfying conclusion. One audience member was heard to exclaim "aw" at the final moment of magic in the show. After all these years, "Brigadoon" still works. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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