BWW Previews: BRIGADOON at Candlelight Music Theatre

BWW Previews: BRIGADOON at Candlelight Music Theatre

There is a legend that once every hundred years in the Scottish Highlands the village of BRIGADOON awakens - for one day only. Its centennial bewitches with mystery, delightful characters speaking in enchanting Scottish brogue, kilts, sword dancing and, of course, a love story.

Continuing the theme of the 100-year awakening - and admittedly a bit of a literary reach - there are few transcendent talents in the region who could be better cast than Sophie Jones as Fiona MacLaren. Jones won Aisle Say's heart with her singing and acting in Candlelight's CAMELOT. Her comedic chops were on full display in the recent BOEING, BOEING.

Fiona sings 3 of the tunes that have become standards in Lerner & Loewe's 1947 masterpiece that went on to star Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in the 1954 movie: "Waitin' For My Dearie", "The Heather On The Hill" and "Almost Like Being In Love".

(I have not seen the movie for years...but the one element that rushes to mind - like the mists cascading over the bog - is environment. Here you have a show set in the lush, verdant and emerald green of rural Scotland. Yet 90% of the production was filmed on a Hollywood sound stage. A tawdry disconnect; kinda like Trump tweeting his distracting ramblings during John McCain's funeral. Would that he would disappear in the mist for 100 years).

Candlelight audience favorite - and certainly one of Aisle Say's - Anthony Connell plays Charlie Dalrymple and will lead the male ensemble in what one would imagine to be a rousing "Go Home With Bonnie Jean".

FUN FACT: The Brandywiners staged BRIGADOON frequently at Longwood. That outdoor, sylvan setting was perfect to set the stage. I was in one of them in the '70's or '80's. The director was ballet icon Jamie Jamieson. Jamie began his career in ballet, but by the mid-1940s was an internationally recognized Scottish dance champion. In 1947, original Broadway choreographer Agnes De Mille hired Jamieson to coach the cast in traditional Scottish dancing, which inaugurated a decades-long association with the musical. Jamie moved to Wilmington and established a ballet studio. The Brandywiners took notice and came a courting.

Aisle Say took classes from him for a time but soon determined that free form and less disciplined jitterbugging was more apropos. He passed in 1993. I gag when I read the overworked word 'unique'. But for all those who knew Jamie when he entered a room, the air was vacuumed out with his presence. He was an absolutely unforgettable, irrepressible HOOT.

BRIGADOON is true Broadway royalty of the 1950's; the Golden Years. Lerner and Loewe went on to create MY FAIR LADY and CAMELOT.

Director is Artistic Director Bob Kelly, who probably has been in a few BRIGADOON's himself. Betsy Conner is Vocal Musical Director, Jody Anderson - Choreographer, Tara Bowers - Costumer, Jeff Reim - Set Design, Dennis Mahoney - Sound Design and Matthew Kator - Lighting Design.

And....drum roll...An Aisle Say congratulations to Candlelight's Tori Healy and Max Redman, now man and wife!

Sept 15 - Oct 28 CandlelightTheatreDelaware 302.475.2313 $63.00 for dinner and theatre - the best theatrical value in the state! Group Rates at 15.

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From This Author Greer Firestone

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