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The spell of love

By Kerianne Tupac

The University of Michigan Department of Musical Theatre travels to the highlands of Scotland for the closing production of the 2010-2011 season, Lerner and Loewe’s whimsical musical fantasy Brigadoon. The show runs April 14-17.

Limited seating is available for performances on April 14 at 7:30PM, April 15 & 16 at 8 PM, and April 17 at 2 PM. Due to high demand for tickets, an additional performance has been added on Saturday, April 16 at 2 PM. Assoc. Professor of Musical Theatre Linda Goodrich directs with music direction by Asst. Professor Catherine Walker Adams. Choreography is by Mark Esposito.

Premiering in 1947, Brigadoon established the team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe as one of the most successful songwriting duos in the Golden Age of musical theatre. The musical was the winner of the 1947 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play (the first musical to win the honor) and garnered Agnes de Mille a Tony Award for Best Choreography. Brigadoon was translated onto film in 1954 starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. Lerner and Loewe would go on to write Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Gigi for both film and Broadway.

The story of Brigadoon follows two young American travelers, Tommy and Jeff. Having become lost in the mists of the Scottish highlands, they chance upon a quaint village not on their map — Brigadoon. The two men quickly get swept up in the village’s preparations for a wedding. While Tommy and the sister of the bride, Fiona, gather heather for the ceremony, their attraction grows.

But as charming as Brigadoon appears, Tommy and Jeff notice anachronistic oddities about the town. The schoolmaster, Mr. Lundie, explainsBrigadoon has been blessed by God – in order to shield it from the evils of the outside world, the town awakens for only one day each century. No one may leave err the spell be broken and the town disappear forever. Strangers, if they be in love, may choose to stay. Torn between the modern world and the love growing in his heart for Fiona, Tommy must choose his path before Brigadoon disappears once again into the mists.

Joining Goodrich, Esposito, and Walker Adams on the creative team is scenic designer Vincent Mountain, Assoc. Professor of Theatre & Drama, whose work was last seen in Gibson Fleck. Dept. of Theatre & Drama junior Shawn McCoulloch (Into the Woods) designs costumes. Assoc. Professor of Theatre & Drama Rob Murphy, whose work was last seen in Into the Woods, designs lights. The sound design is by Jim Lillie (Gibson Fleck, Into the Woods) with hair and makeup design by Erin Kennedy Lunsford (Little Women).

Following the performance on April 15 will be post-performance discussions moderated by Goodrich and featuring members of the cast. Curtain Call Fridays offer an opportunity for audience members to talk with artists about each production.

Tickets for Brigadoon are $24 and $18 reserved seating with students $10 with ID. Tickets are available in person at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League. The Ticket Office is open from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday. Order by phone at (734) 764-2538. All major credit cards are accepted. Tickets may also be ordered online at BRIGADOON TICKETS. The Power Center for the Performing Arts, located at 121 Fletcher Street, is wheelchair accessible and equipped with an infrared listening system for hearing enhancement.

Kerianne Tupac is marketing and communications director for University Productions.