Lose Yourself in “Brigadoon”

Mikaela Saccoccio and Jeff Aguiar in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Lerner & Loewe’s BRIGADOON (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Brigadoon tells the story of two American hunters who lose their way and stumble into the magical world that is the show’s namesake. Burning Coal Theatre’s production of this charming, poignant musical is downright magical from start to finish, and viewers will leave the theatre feeling as if they’ve made this whimsical journey right along with the characters.

Ed Intemann’s minimalist set, featuring strings that hang from the ceiling, perfectly captures the elusiveness of the mystical land of Brigadoon. The strings work well with Intemann’s lighting, which sometimes lends a colorful, iridescent glow to the strings, furthering the magical effect. The balconies are also used effectively, opening up the somewhat small space and making the set feel larger than life. It’s what happens within the confines of this impressive set, however, that truly enthralls.

Andrew Bosworth oozes believability as Tommy, the younger of the two hunters. With his boyish looks and searing gaze, Bosworth’s Tommy is believably searching and in need of the world of Brigadoon. His sidekick, gruff, hard-drinking , and slightly world-weary Jeff, serves as the perfect counterbalance, and is effectively portrayed by James Anderson, who possesses prodigious stage presence. Natalie Reder’s portrayal of sweet Fiona, who desperately longs for ideal love, is spot-on as well, and Jeff Aguiar truly impresses as the soon-to-be-marreid Charlie Dalrymple. His strong voice, fancy footwork, and enthusiasm make him one of the show’s brightest stars. No one, however, delights or charms more than Erin Tito in her role as the feisty, dare-we-say slutty Meg Brockie. Her uproarious  rendition of “The Love of My Life,” a song in which she tries to seduce Jeff and also recounts her past dating woes, sends the audience into gales of laughter.

Despite all the fun and laughs, Brigadoon is a show with real heart, a show about love and faith, and this production fully captures that. Strong vocal talents, lively choreography, and wonderful period costumes reinforce all the wonderful work that is done here. For an uplifting and fully engaging night of theatre, get lost in the land of Brigadoon.

SECOND OPINION: Sept. 9th Raleigh, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh review by Larissa Mount: http://raleigh.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-Reviews-BRIGADOON-is-Enchanting-at-Raleighs-Burning-Coal-Theatre-20120909. (Note: To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of Triangle Theater Review’s Sept. 6th preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2012/09/lerner-and-loewes-classic-musical-brigadoon-opens-burning-coals-16th-season-on-sept-6th/.)

Burning Coal Theatre Company presents BRIGADOON at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8, 2 p.m. Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13-15, 2 p.m. Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20-22, and 2 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.

TICKETS: $20 ($15 students, seniors 65+, and active-duty military personnel), except “Pay-What-You Can” performance on Sept. 9th, $10 Thursdays, and $5 Student Rush Tickets (sold at door, 5 minutes before curtain, to students with valid ID).

BOX OFFICE: 919-834-4001 or http://www.etix.com/.

SHOW: http://burningcoal.org/brigadoon/.

VIDEO PREVIEW (by Nick Karner): http://vimeo.com/47276233.

PRESENTER: http://www.burningcoal.org/.

VENUE/DIRECTIONS: http://burningcoal.org/murphey-school-auditorium/.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh (http://www.artsaccessinc.org/) will audio describe the 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9th, performance, which will also be sign-language interpreted


The Musical: http://www.tams-witmark.com/musicals/brigadoon.html (Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigadoon (Wikipedia).

Alan Jay Lerner: http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/C42 (Songwriters Hall of Fame) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Jay_Lerner (Wikipedia).

Frederick Loewe: http://www.frederickloewe.org/ (Frederick Loewe Foundation), http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/C43?exhibitId=43 (Songwriters Hall of Fame), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Loewe (Wikipedia).

Emily Ranii: http://burningcoal.org/emily-ranii/ (Burning Coal Theatre Company) and https://www.facebook.com/emily.ranii (Facebook).

By Susie Potter

Susie Potter is a 2009 graduate of Meredith College where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina Statue University. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. For more information visit SusiePotter.com.