Stars rock in 'Brigadoon' BY JANE HOLAHAN, Entertainment Editor
Lerner and Loewe's "Brigadoon," which opened Thursday at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, is the story of a mythical town in Scotland that comes alive for only one day every 100 years.
The rest of the time, it's shrouded in the mist, cast under a spell some 200 years ago, when witches wandered through Scotland, bringing evil with them. The idea was that if the townspeople were sleeping all the time, they wouldn't get caught up in the rotten modern world.
The townspeople seem fine with this idea and call it a miracle. When they wake, it's the next day, as far as they are concerned.
Problem is, nobody can leave Brigadoon or everyone in the town will vanish permanently into the mist.
The show opens as two modern Americans vacationing in Scotland, Tommy (Adam Clough) and Jeff (Erik Hogan), stumble upon the town on what is only the second time the townspeople have been awake since the spell was cast.
A wedding is taking place.
Everyone is dressed like it's the 1700s, since that's when the spell was cast, but otherwise everyone seems fairly normal.
Tommy and the sister of the bride, Fiona (Colleen Gallagher), fall for each other. This enchantment is supposed to be sadly romantic, because Tommy's options are to leave Brigadoon and never see Fiona again or stay and have to sleep for 100 years and then have only one day with his love before going back to sleep.
Gallagher's Fiona is quite charming, and she has a wonderful and beautiful voice. Together they sing lovely Ler-ner and Loewe songs such as "Almost Like Being in Love," and "From This Day On."
Tommy has a fianc' back in New York, but he doesn't love her. He doesn't even like her or the life he's living.
It's clear to him that Fiona is the real deal.
Meanwhile, Jeff, who seems to be perpetually drunk, gets trapped by the over-eager Meg (Elizabeth Brooks), who's quite open about her lust, especially for a lass from the 1700s.
Hogan and Brooks have some fun with their comic relief characters, though sometimes Hogan seems a little too drunk to be funny.
Tragedy will strike Brigadoon on this fateful day, however.
Fiona's sister, Jean (Jessica Humphrey) is marrying Charlie (Patrick Massey).
The occasion calls for some fine traditional Scottish dancing, choreographed by Kerry Lambert, that the cast does quite well. But one of the sword dancers, Harry (Joel Pellini), loves Jean and can't stand the idea that she loves another.
Harry's unrequited love causes him to declare that he's leaving Brigadoon. Everyone knows that means their eternal demise.
Harry, it seems, never noticed Maggie (Emily Thomas), who loves him and grieves for him.
Director Victor Legarreta has put together a fine show, but not a sparkling one. The cast is good, but nobody's given much of a chance to go beyond fine. The orchestra, with musical direction by A. Scott Williams, is solid, especially when pipers Jeremy Buss and Tim Ross play.
But the set, designed by Tom Tutino, dominates the stage too much at times, not allowing the dancers to truly shine.
More importantly, the story of "Brigadoon" is gloomy and impossible.
How can Tommy be happy away from Fiona, who's going to spend the next century sleeping? Would it be worth it to have just one day together every 100 years?
Maybe I'm just not seeing the romance in this idea.
The ending cheats a little, but heck, that's OK. There's no way "Brigadoon" could have a happy ending if it didn't.
"Brigadoon" runs through May 11 at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 510 Centerville Road. Call 898-1900 or go to www.DutchApple.com for tickets.
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