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Brigadoon - Chicago

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jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
The new rivival of Brigadoon opens this weekend at the Goodman in Chicago:

http://www.goodmantheatre.org/season/Brigadoon/







Updated On: 8/21/14 at 12:43 PM
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jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/23/14 at 01:08pm
jon5202 Profile Photo
jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 10:14am
Brigadoon begins previews today (opening night is July 7) at the Goodman in Chicago.

Here is a clip of lead actors:

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/28266037-452/goodman-theatre-raising-curtain-on-rarely-staged-brigadoon.html#.U616EmdOXAW

Some photos of the production:

http://www.suntimes.com/photos/galleries/index.html?story=28266037
Updated On: 6/27/14 at 10:14 AM
broadwaytbay Profile Photo
broadwaytbay
Understudy
joined:3/1/11
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 10:35am
interesting costume choices, Fiona looks like she is wearing Belle's hand me downs.
JoeKv99 Profile Photo
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 11:41am
I just can't wait- Rockwell is a genius and Brigadoon is a gorgeous show.
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.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 11:43am
I'm really looking forward to this. The show is so rarely produced and the score is sumptuous. I hope the choreography lives up to the score.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
mpd4165
Stand-by
joined:8/6/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 12:06pm
I grabbed a $10 for first preview tonight. Very curious and excited since I have little exposure to the show.
MCfan2
Broadway Star
joined:4/29/06
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/27/14 at 01:13pm
"interesting costume choices, Fiona looks like she is wearing Belle's hand me downs."

And Charlie looks like he's wearing Gaston's.

Thanks for the interview link -- their concept of the show sounds really interesting.
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 01:12am
I saw tonight's performance (the second preview) and really loved it. Any Chicago theatergoer can tell you that Rachel Rockwell is a gifted director, and it shows here. For the umpteenth time at a show of hers, when the lights rose for intermission, I could not believe that ninety minutes had passed. The dancing was beautiful, and the choreography always told a story. The singing was absolutely sublime. While I wish the orchestra was a little larger, that only bothered me during the overture. The accents were at first a bit difficult to understand, but I quickly got used to those as well. It may also take a couple more performances to get the sound design totally right, but it was only a slight issue. The set design was surprisingly minimal, but highly effective except for a scrim-like effect that felt a touch overused by the end of the show.

I can't really comment on the changes in the book because I really don't know the show very well (I saw the one-hour TV version from 1960-ish a few years ago, and that's it), but I was with my godmother who played Fiona when she was in high school many years ago, and she said she thinks some of the song order was switched around in the beginning, and the backstory of the town was changed a bit. In this new version (SPOILER) we learn that Scotland was in war, facing the threat of cultural appropriation. Jeff makes a sly joke about their kilts, to which Mr Lundie says something along the lines of "I imagine this concept is foreign to you; you must live in a wonderful world where the idea of the threat of exterminating an entire people is preposterous," which was really fascinating (END SPOILER). If I were to fault the story, I would say I wanted more of this. I had read that the purpose of the revision was to remove the dated 1940s Broadway cheesiness from the show, which was done partially and to great effect, but I think that Liza Lerner was too tentative after what happened with On a Clear Day. This new material was really the best part of the book, so I wonder what it would be like if it was taken further.

The show is really in great shape for a second preview. This production does feel more authentically Scottish than what I had seen before, and it really worked. And there was a really strong sense of community among the people of Brigadoon, which really strengthened the story. The world is established so clearly that it feels almost jarring when we leave Brigadoon briefly in the second act. I would highly recommend this production. It's not perfect yet, but it is really spectacular.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 07:41am
Thanks for your review, AwesomeDanny! I like the changes you mentioned. Yes, they are new, but they sound like they are in keeping with the original intent of the story. These are more direct remarks from the characters and (perhaps) more profound. Nothing wrong with that. It's not like they're taking it on some side-road agenda that has nothing to do with the story.

Maybe they should take it further, as you suggest. It would be interesting to see how far they can go with it before it begins to overwhelm the simple love story. (And that, of course, is the risk taken.)

In a way, West Side Story is also a simple love story set in a war-torn, unlikely environment, where for one brief "magic" moment, everything works. Of course that story ends in tragedy, and this one ends with a miracle.

Still, I'm interested in those dialogue changes you mentioned. They definitely resonate, and probably help offset and elevate the loveliness of the romance even more.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 02:21pm
I felt that the mentioning of this backstory really heightened the stakes and gave Tommy a stronger reason to want to stay in Brigadoon. And, of course, it's historically accurate.

I just read the synopsis on wikipedia, and the order of songs was not actually changed in this production. The only other change I could tell is that The Chase culminates in Jeff shooting Harry and retreating into the shadows as the other men find him and assume that he tripped on a rock. When Jeff tells Tommy of this, he says this is proof that they don't belong there--they are changing things too much.

Compared to the revised On a Clear Day, this show has hardly changed. Liza Lerner has said she realizes that the failure of that show was probably because they took it so far away from what it was that the story was almost unrecognizable. That is certainly not the case here. The same lovely story with the same characters appears on the Goodman stage, but now there's something a little more urgent and authentic about it.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 03:35pm
Danny, that is how the chase ended in the original- Jeff goes to shoot a grouse and kills Harry but the villagers thing he fell and hit his head. Jeff later cites it as a reason he doesn't believe Brigadoon really exists.
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.
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 06:25pm
Well in this production, the shooting is very much intentional.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 06:30pm
Intentional? That's kind of horrifying to make Jeff into a coldblooded murderer.

In the original, he's drunk and thinks he's shooting a pheasant or some other bird. When he realizes it's Harry,, he is devastated.

That's the way they did it in the (disappointing) film version as well.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/29/14 at 11:29pm
I may be misremembering things (this would not be a first time), but I believe that Harry tried to kill Charlie at the end of the first act before his knife is pried away from him, and he declares he is going to leave Brigadoon. Then the second act opens with the chase sequence, and there is thunder overhead, which we learned in the first act is what happens when someone approaches the border. Then Jeff runs out and shoots him from behind and immediately retreats into the shadows (behind a scrim) while the villagers say he must have fallen and hit a rock. So, in the circumstances, I guess I wouldn't call it justified, but one could easily understand why Jeff did so with the threat of the entire town going.

EDIT: I may or may not have just listened to the audio that I may or may not have recorded, in which I may have just heard Jeff say "I did... because in that split second, I believed in something enough to kill for." He killed Harry to save Brigadoon.
Updated On: 6/29/14 at 11:29 PM
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 06:11am
Believing in something enough to kill another human being for it ... that sends a horrifying message.

Don't like that at all.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 06:21am
The thing about Jeff is that he is really the audience's window into Brigadoon, a lot more than Tommy is.

Tommy gets swept up in the town and the legend, and he falls in love with Fiona in just one day.

Jeff is funny, cynical, an alcoholic, and a non-believer.

It's only after he accidentally kills Harry that he wishes the town were "magic' and would just disappear. But he believes in the death. That's real. That's something he can relate to. Not the legend of a village called Brigadoon.

So to have him suddenly believing so strongly in the town enough to KILL Harry on purpose? Not only is that vile, it's out of character for Jeff completely. And it deprives the audience of the "nonbeliever" perspective. We already have Tommy, who is ready to give up everything he knows to stay with Fiona in Brigadoon ... until the "reality" of Jeff's actions pulls him down out of the clouds. He decides to leave with Jeff and go back to America ... and of course regrets it almost immediately.

So that's a major plot change as well as a major character change. I'm not sure I like or even understand Jeff's behavior in this revamped show. Exactly when does he go from laughing at the place and thinking they're all nuts to believing so passionately in it that he would gun down one of its citizens to "save their world?"
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 02:46pm
To answer that question, which I realize was probably rhetorical, it happens when Mr Lundie says what I mentioned before, something along the lines of "I imagine this is very foreign to you, the idea that an entire people would be exterminated". All I can say as someone not all that familiar with what the show was previously is that it worked for me. Hopefully, someone else with a much better knowledge of the show will see it soon and have more to contribute to the conversation.
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 02:51pm
Thanks, AwesomeDanny. I appreciate your comments and posts. I'd be curious to find out if others take away the same impression from the (new and old) material.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
goldenboy Profile Photo
goldenboy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/05
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 04:38pm
"lads say a prayer i am afraid Harry Deaton is dead
looks like he fell on a rock and it crushed in his head"

if he was shot.. is this not there?
tgrabon2 Profile Photo
tgrabon2
Understudy
joined:6/18/08
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 6/30/14 at 04:58pm
I saw the well received Sunday matinee and I too enjoyed it. Having never seen Brigadoon on stage or film I came with no expectations. Add to it that most old musicals from that period donít interest me with Carousel being the exception. Pros: the plot moves along quickly, the small amount of humor was funny, the singing was gorgeous, folk dance & touches of ballet fit nicely and in most places advanced the plot, the costumes were beautiful and in the wedding scene they were majestic (except the bland wedding dress). Projections on the backdrop and rope scrim were appealing. My only problem was the set or lack of. Brigadoon doesnít appear when the fog and trees part in the opening. The people of Brigadoon appear with their carts. I really wanted to see Brigadoon. All we get is clouds projected and plants along the back wall of the stage. It doesnít help that in the center of the action is a stone centerpiece similar to the opening of Beauty and the Beast and as mentioned here earlier with Fiona wearing Belleís costume. The olive green macramť quilt tree branch (Iím guessing) hangings are unappealing. A fragment of church window hanging alone in the wedding scene was sad. Suspended roof frames added very little atmosphere. A few rock formations glide in from the wings and are welcome. Add some furniture, lanterns, and nicely crafted Scottish clan banners and thatís about it. Over all I would still highly recommend it.

goldenboy:

"lads say a prayer i am afraid Harry Deaton is dead looks like he fell on a rock and it crushed in his head" was in there and he was shot. The men of Brigadoon arrive after the shooting and I assumed that they didn't know what a gun was for and what gunshot could do. It was jarring.


timmmmmmmmy
Updated On: 6/30/14 at 04:58 PM
jon5202 Profile Photo
jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 7/2/14 at 05:37pm
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 7/2/14 at 05:38pm
The Goodman posted a video montage on facebook today, which can give you some idea of what the production looks like.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152109906836237
jon5202 Profile Photo
jon5202
Featured Actor
joined:12/14/10
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 7/3/14 at 12:53am
Photos posted on BW from the production:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/chicago/article/Photo-Flash-BRIGADOON-at-Goodman-Theatre-Now-Through-810-20140702#.U7Tfb2dOXAU

One major change in casting: Curt Bouril who was playing Jeff Douglas seems to have left the show and Rod Thomas (a local Chicago leading actor) has stepped in.

Note: Yes - Roger Mueller playing Mr. Lundie is Jessie Mueller's dad.
MCfan2
Broadway Star
joined:4/29/06
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 7/5/14 at 08:09am
I'm going to see this! A friend and I are going to a conference in Chicago week after next, and we decided to catch a Sunday matinee. When I went to look at the website, the performance was almost completely sold out. Just some seats in the back three rows of the mezzanine were still available, so we quickly snagged two of those. Glad we checked it when we did! Looking forward to it!
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Brigadoon - Chicago
Posted: 7/5/14 at 08:35am
Very jealous- I wish I could see this!

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