Brigadoon | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader


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Brigadoon, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. The plaid kilts are in full swirl in David Perkovich's sturdy revival of Lerner and Loewe's early hit. In 1947 Brigadoon artfully confronted postwar doubts about progress using the legend of Brigadoon: this miraculous Scottish village escapes the contagion of history by existing only one day out of every 100 years. It remains a powerful fantasy. Will Tommy Allbright escape his overwrought era by renouncing New York and his manipulative fiancee for the lovely lassie Fiona, who dallies in the heather on the hill? You bet your bagpipes.

As if the dream weren't potent enough, Loewe provides soft-focus persuasive songs--the buoyant "(It's) Almost Like Being in Love," the folkloric "Come to Me, Bend to Me," and the lilting "Waitin' for My Dearie." As the cross-century lovers, James Rank and Kathy Voytko really do make beautiful music together. (Overall the singing provides two of Candlelight's finest hours.) Playing the village Romeo who goes home with Bonnie Jean, Phillip Pickens gamely tears into the Highland flings, Scottish reels, and sword dances that embellish Agnes de Mille's original dances (crisply preserved by Gordon Peirce Schmidt). Bringing the myth down to earth are two ribald characters: as Tommy's cynical companion, Randy Steinmeyer delivers a cutting running commentary on the events around him, while Cory Goodrich as Brigadoon's official bad girl has contagious fun with the patter songs "The Love of My Life" and "My Mother's Weddin' Day." Most remarkable, the Scottish accents convince--or at any rate don't confuse.

--Lawrence Bommer

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