Rachel Rockwell to Helm BRIGADOON at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in Summer 2014
"It's almost like being in love!" Goodman Theatre proudly announces a Summer 2014 production of the 1947 musical Brigadoon, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe-marking the first major revival of the musical in nearly 20 years. Award-winning Chicago director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell, hailed as "a theatrical magician" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "2012 Chicagoan of the Year" (Chicago Tribune) for her recent reinvestigations of American musicals, directs the piece in her Goodman debut. With permission from the Lerner and Loewe estates, the Goodman and Rockwell will consider some revisions to the book for this production. Only Goodman Subscribers and Groups are guaranteed priority access to Brigadoon tickets; subscriptions for Goodman's 2013/2014 Season (additional projects and dates for Brigadoon to be announced) will be available for purchase in March. Call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org.
"Brigadoon is among the most cherished American musicals with a score that's been widely recognized as one of the most evocative in musical theater history," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "It's an honor to produce this major revival of Lerner and Loewe's beloved work, and we're thrilled to collaborate for the first time with Rachel Rockwell-who has won Chicago's heart with her arresting productions of Hair, Annie and The Sound of Music, among many others."
Big, beautiful and beguiling, Brigadoon is a "ravishing" (The New Yorker) song and dance fantasy with a score that includes "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." When American tourists Tommy and Jeff get lost on vacation in Scotland they stumble into Brigadoon, a mythical eighteenth-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. As a director/choreographer, I look forward to exploring the narrative potential of all of the extraordinary music," said multiple Jeff Award-winner Rachel Rockwell, whose 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)."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."
The triple Tony and Academy Award-winning lyricist and book writer Alan Jay Lerner interwove a serious love story with a lighter romance as subplot to contrast the warmth and simplicity of the country with the cool bustle of city life, set against a lilting score from Two-time Tony Award-winning composer Frederick Loewe. Lerner and Loewe's other acclaimed American musical theater collaborations include My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot, among others.
"There is lasting, enormous affection for Brigadoon in the hearts and minds of so many. Rachel is an extraordinarily gifted musical theater director, and I think she is a wonderful match for this production," said Liza Lerner, daughter of Alan Jay Lerner. "It's exciting to revive this piece at the Goodman, a theater known for its first-rate production values and commitment to quality."
Goodman Theatre, "the leading regional theater in the nation's most important theater city" (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $250 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, "Chicago's most essential director" (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events-including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the Latino Theatre Festival-and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage-one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of Women's Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman's young professionals auxiliary group.