“One of Chicago’s preeminent director/choreographers, Rachel Rockwell and her incomparable team of collaborators have created a production of Brigadoon that is arguably more powerful today than it was nearly 70 years ago,”notes Artistic Director Robert Falls of Goodman Theatre’s first large-scale, professional revival of the Lerner and Loewe musical.
“I think we’ve found a beautiful way to create that impressionistic, fleeting, ethereal feeling while bringing a greater sense of authenticity to the story by using historical context to up the stakes for the town’s need for self-preservation,” explains Rockwell. “We’re not going to burden the piece unnecessarily because it’s a very charming story, but we are pushing the emotional boundaries a lot.”
“We are grateful to Liza Lerner,” adds Falls, “for entrusting us with this important piece of her father’s legacy in a production that is at once the same mysterious, romantic masterwork that audiences remember and cherish, as well as something fresh and exciting for a new generation to appreciate.”
“I’m often asked ‘why revive Brigadoon now?’ and my response every time is, ‘why not now!’ Of my father’s most memorable works—My Fair Lady, Camelot and Gigi, among them—Brigadoon is the most romantic. The music is deliriously beautiful. And most importantly, I’ve found the right storytellers in Rachel Rockwell and Brian Hill,” says Alan Jay Lerner’s daughter Liza. “Chicago is a great theater town, and the Goodman is world-renowned for its high quality productions. I’m so happy to be here.”
“When we nod to the historic events of the time, the villagers’ choice to preserve their way of life by seceding from their besieged land becomes not a whimsical dream but a brave, passionate act of courage,” observes Adaptor Brian Hill. “It’s a joy to work with Rachel, because we both deeply love and respect Brigadoon and see it in exactly the same way. The process of freshening the story, humor and characters has been about making sure these characters have truthful, human through-lines.”
“Frederick Loewe’s score is among the most glorious music ever written for musical theater, each song having a wonderful emotional journey to it. Our 13-piece orchestra uses a lot of doubling to bring it to life in the spirit in which it was created,” states Music Director Roberta Duchak. “In addition, we’ll weave in Scottish tenor drum, sopranino recorder, penny whistles and, of course, bagpipes, to evoke the sounds of 18th century Scotland.”
Brigadoon runs from June 27 to August 3 in Goodman’s Albert Theatre on 170 North Dearborn in Chicago. Appropriate theater-goers aged 10 and up, tickets ($25 - $97) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Brigadoon and at 312-443-3800.