Brigadoon opens at Bellevue Little Theatre
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 20:09
Bagpipes, Scottish kilts, bright costumes and confusion set the stage in the land of “Brigadoon” at the Bellevue Little Theatre on the shows’ Thursday night preview.
“Brigadoon,” a play about a Scottish village in the Highlands, tells the story of love. “Love is timeless,” Travis Wilcox, an actor in the play, said.
Laureen Pickle, director, echoed the sentiment. “Love can make miracles happen.”
At the start of the play, Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas are introduced as two New Yorkers lost in the Scottish Highlands. Suddenly, they stumble into the village of Brigadoon – a place not on the map, but full of friendly, yet strange people selling their goods in the square and preparing to celebrate the wedding of Charlie Darlymple and Jean MacLaren. Tommy, unhappy with his life back home in New York, almost immediately falls for Fiona MacLaren. Jeff, who is perfectly content, has a hard time convincing himself this place is even real.
More confusing than the clothing, no phones and old-fashioned ways, is when Charlie arrives to sign the Maclaren family Bible – as he is marrying Fiona’s sister Jean that night – and Jeff and Tommy become confused with the dates in the front cover. So, Fiona takes them to Mr. Lundie who explains that Brigadoon has a secret of only appearing on the map for one day, every 100 years.
Pickle does a great job of modernizing old standards and making the story relevant to today. She cut up some of the old dialogue and was able to redo the boy-meets-girl plotline to keep it fresh and interesting, while still retaining the shows’ classic roots.
“The music is gorgeous,” Pickle said.
And with the tunes “Down on McConnachy Square,” “Go Home With Bonny Jean,” “Jeannie’s Packin’ Up” and “My Mothers Wedding Day,” it’s bound to get feet tapping. Some of the songs draw an emotional response, with ballads, such as, “The Love of My Life,” “Come to Me, Bend to Me,” “There But For You Go I” and “From This Day On.”
Music isn’t the only strong element in the show. Principal dancers Michelle Garrity, Kara Penniston and Emily Smith keep the audience watching with their fluid, graceful movements and ability to move together in a seamless fashion.
“The cast has been a blast to work with,” Wilcox said. Echelle Childers, a previous cast-mate of Wilcox, has a daughter in the show. “Echelle’s daughter is actually my daughter in the show,” Wilcox added.
Brigadoon runs until Sept. 29 at the Bellevue Little Theatre in Bellevue, Neb. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations for the musical are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 402-291-1554. With student tickets just $9, it’s a perfect way to take a break from coursework and make a trip overseas to the Scottish Highlands.