Monday, 30 October 2017

Brigadoon, Oct 28, 2017 ****

Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe 
By The Production Company 
At State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, until Nov 5, 2017
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Sat Oct 28, 2017
Stars: ****
Review also published in Herald Sun Arts online on Mon Oct 30, 2017 & later in print (31/10). KH
Brigadoon - Genevieve Kingsford & cast  - pic Jeff Busby

Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon is a deliciously old-fashioned, musical rom-com set in a magical, 17th century Scottish village that materialises out of the mist for only one day every 100 years.

Jason Langley’s production transposes the period from 1947 to 2017 when rich boy, Tommy (Rohan Browne), and his jaded friend, Jeff (Luke Joslin), who are New Yorkers on a tourist trek through Scotland, stumble upon this fairy tale place.

During their single day in this mythical place, Tommy falls in love with copper-haired beauty, Fiona (Genevieve Kingsford), while Jeff fights off the advances of brazen Meg (Elise McCann).

Accompanied by the on stage orchestra under Michael Tyack’s musical direction, the cast provides a feast of musical numbers including Almost Like Being In Love, the memorable love duet sung by Browne and Kingsford.

Browne is magnetic and roguish as Tommy, adding another dimension to the character with his skilful and sprightly dance moves, while Kingsford’s rich, powerful soprano is perfect for the spirited Fiona, and her duet with Browne, The Heather on the Hill, is warm and charming.

Matthew Manahan is boisterously upbeat as bridegroom, Charlie, and he vivaciously leads the ensemble in I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean.

Joslin garners laughs as the glib and cynical Jeff while McCann is suitably brassy and seductive as Meg and Nancye Hayes plays the restructured role of Mrs. Forsythe with dignity.

The simple stage design (Christina Smith) provides space for vibrant choreography (Cameron Mitchell) while the hanging wooden crosses that protect the village from the evils of the outside world lend a darker edge to the village story.

Brigadoon is performed infrequently, but the audience’s response to its rollicking tunes, magical landscape and romantic narrative suggests that it should materialise out of the Scottish mists more often.

By Kate Herbert
 Brigadoon - Nancye Hayes; Genevieve Kingsford; Rohan Browne - pic Jeff Busby
Rohan Browne - Tommy Albright
Genevieve Kingsford - Fiona
Nancye Hayes - Mrs Forsythe
Elise McCann - Meg
Luke Joslin -Jeff Douglas
Stefanie Jones, Matthew ManahanStephen Hall, Sally Bourne, Joel Granger

Director -Jason Langley
Musical Director -Michael Tyack
Costume Designer - Isaac Lummis
Choreography -Cameron Mitchell
Set -Christina Smith
Lighting- Matt Scott

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