Brigadoon to be revised, revived?

JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 02:14pm
Rachel Rockwell is a flat out genius and I CAN NOT WAIT to see what she does with one of my favorite shows....



Rachel Rockwell, the Chicago director whose career has flourished at such musical theaters as the Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace and the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, is to make her Goodman Theatre debut in the summer of 2014.

Rockwell will direct a new, revised version of the classic 1947 Broadway show "Brigadoon," a whimsical musical comedy set in the Scottish Highlands that comes with a now-creaky book but a formidable score including such standards as "Almost Like Being in Love."

"Brigadoon" has a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, and has not been revived on Broadway since 1980. In an interview Tuesday, daughter Liza Lerner said that she has authorized (and wants) revisions.

"We're not going to use the original Agnes De Mille choreography," she said. "Rachel has some ideas about that. The story is the story and that won't change, but some of the dialog needs updating and it might be a little earthier and sexier."

If all goes well, Rockwell's Goodman production could well have a life beyond Chicago, and potentially become the new licensable version of a show that once was a very popular title but has slipped in exposure in recent years.

"Our goal," said Rockwell, "is to freshen up the show without scaring the purists to death. People have a deep, abiding love for 'Brigadoon.'"





Theater Loop
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
Updated On: 1/30/13 at 02:14 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 02:48pm
Well, good luck to her!

Every time I see BRIGADOON (and I see it quite often here in Southern California), I'm reminded that despite the great score and opportunities for spectacle, the show has the thinnest of characters and almost no plot.

It's closer to the Rose Parade or a Christmas pageant than it is to MY FAIR LADY.
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 02:53pm
The music is so wonderful. The book just doesn't live up to it.
finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 03:00pm
I love the score too,

Good point, @GavestonPS I can't even recall any plot whatsoever.
ClumsyDude15
Broadway Legend
joined:12/11/06
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 03:12pm
I was in Brigadoon in high school, and while it has a gorgeous score, as previously mentioned - the plot is next to nothing. I'm excited to hear what comes of this, because I think it could use an update.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 03:33pm
SPOILER ALERT:

1. Lost in Scotland, Tommy discovers enchanted village.
2. Tommy falls in love with Fiona, a villager.
3. During a wedding, a jilted suitor (Harry Beaton) runs away, threatening the miracle of enchantment. A chase/ballet ensues and Harry is accidentally killed, saving the town.
4. For no apparent reason, Tommy goes back to New York.
5. Tommy misses Fiona and returns to Brigadoon.

The above leaves out at least four major characters who do nothing in particular (except that two get married, as previously arranged). Tommy has a sidekick, Jeff, who makes wisecracks. Meg sings two funny songs for no reason. Jeannie and Charlie sing pretty songs and dance at their wedding.

And th-th-th-that's all, folks!

But if the voices and choreography are good enough, viewers seem to overlook the lack of dramatic action. I know I do until Act II, when the singing about nothing begins to get to me.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 03:38pm
I don't know what can be done to "update" the show. Personally, I find the idea rather a cliche that sophisticated New Yorkers are superficial while 18th century Scots are wise and soulful!

The 1980s revival directed by Vivian Matalon turned Meg into the village bag lady, which only made the considerable cleverness of her two songs seem even less likely.
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:15pm
Don't forget Mr. Lundie. Or do forget him. The latter is easier.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:27pm
^^^^You're right. That's a fifth major character who doesn't do anything. (I don't consider putting on a stocking cap dramatic action.)

Seriously, I'm not sure how actors approach all these do-nothing roles. I guess they work on their brogues and try not to get cut during the sword dance!
Updated On: 1/30/13 at 04:27 PM
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:28pm
Rockwell is brilliant and I know very little about this show and I can't wait.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:31pm
Despite the discussion above (or as evidenced by it), all of us keep returning to BRIGADOON. I'm sure you'll find it gorgeous and perhaps Rockwell will find a way to make it more active.
finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:37pm
"Rockwell is brilliant and I know very little about this show and I can't wait."

Agreed ignore our cynicism. Consider it variety show with really great golden age show tunes. The music is just wonderful.
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:39pm
OK, I'll bite. Brigadoon has plenty of plot. Modern cynical New Yorkers encounter enchanted village from 200 years ago- that says it all right there.

I would guess by "updating" they will reset the dates (1813 and 2013) and make Meg slightly less "man crazy." The little- remembered second-to-last scene that shows Tommy back in NYC with his Fiance will probably get a fluff-n-buff, too. You need to have her be a contrast to Fiona, but not a horrible bitch.

And why do Tommy & Jeff go back to new York? Are you crazy? It's the only logical thing to do- you don't cut ties with your entire world to stay with a woman you've only known a few hours in a world that is completely alien to you...or do you?

It is such a beautiful show, so romantic- and THAT SCORE!!

No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:40pm
I know! They can make Tommy a revolutionary!

Or Jeff!

Or Harry...

But revolutionaries are the solution to all book problems in old musicals!
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon to be revsied, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:45pm
And for all the kids who constantly fret about these things- Brigadoon was an entirely original musical- not based on any previous source material.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 04:48pm
PJ I am suddenly reminded of one of my favorite Brigadoon quotes:

Mr. Lundie: I dinna suppose you have such women in your country?
Tommy Albright: Witches?
Jeff Douglas: Oh we have 'em. We pronounce it differently.

No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
Updated On: 1/30/13 at 04:48 PM
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:00pm
- Brigadoon was an entirely original musical- not based on any previous source material.

Actually, that's debatable, Joe.

Alan Jay Lerner first said the story was entirely original. Then George Jean Nathan pointed out that there was a well-known old German folktale about a disappearing town.

Lerner then wrote in his memoirs that there were many stories of disappearing towns in the folklore of many countries and that any similarity between Brigadoon and the German story or any of the others was an "unconscious coincidence."
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:01pm
Joe, I think you might want to review the definition of "plot". It's not the same as "atmosphere". I'll grant that BRIGADOON has plenty of the latter.

If you think Tommy's return to New York makes sense, then why doesn't he stay there? As you point out, his fiance is not a witch-pronounced-differently.

Is it only because the tunes have been reprised so often he can't get them out of his head? If that's reason enough we would all live at Disneyland.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:03pm
Thanks, joey. I didn't know about the Lerner/Nathan argument. What a flimsy libretto to fight about!
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:20pm
Second acts are especially tough in original musicals.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:25pm
I know the "folk tale" argument but there was no source material- no book, play, movie and all of the characters were original to the piece.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:31pm
Personally, I find both acts tough, joey. But now that you mention it, one can be quite entertaining through Act I introducing characters and situations without seeming to stall.

After intermission, one has to get on with it.

There's also the saying that if Act II doesn't work, the problem is probably in Act I. I suppose the point is that Act I should set up the conflict so that Act II rolls out in surprising-yet-inevitable ways.

By resolving the Harry Beaton problem at the end of Act I, Lerner didn't leave himself much to work with in Act II. Of course, he didn't give himself much to start with since Harry's love is wholly unrequited. There might have been a proper subplot if Jeannie had any doubts. Or if Jeff/Meg were anything but a punchline.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:33pm
Joe, I think joey was just giving us historical perspective.

I'm sure you know the argument that there are only about 5 conflicts/plots in all of Western literature, so almost nothing is truly "original".

But as musicals go, I'm satisfied that Brigadoon fits the definition.
Lloyd321
Chorus Member
joined:11/11/05
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 05:35pm
Oh, hope it's great! : P
metropolis10111
Leading Actor
joined:7/28/06
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 06:32pm
Best news of the Chicago season for next year. (This year is the staging of the original 1967 Off-Broadway HAIR) I for one will be there with bells on. Despite the fact I don't think the book is worth anything the score is in my top 5 for classic scores. I will be very very interested to see how this goes. And than goodness for new choreography one can get tired of seeing the same steps used again and again. I'm so excited for this!
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon to be revised, revived?
Posted: 1/30/13 at 07:23pm
By resolving the Harry Beaton problem at the end of Act I, Lerner didn't leave himself much to work with in Act II.

Except he doesn't resolve the Harry Beaton problem at the end of Act I. It ends with him disrupting the wedding, telling everyone that he will leave the town and destroy the miracle.

Act II opens with the chase scene where they all try to stop him before he crosses the bridge.

I think there's plenty of plot in Brigadoon. That's like saying there's no plot in Our Town or Meet Me in St. Louis.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3

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