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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Sterling Playmakers Brigadoon

By • Aug 2nd, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Brigadoon
Sterling Playmakers
Potomac Falls High School, Sterling, VA
Through August 15th
2:40 with one intermission
$12-$15
Reviewed July 29th, 2010

The Sterling Playmakers has assembled a huge cast, a wonderful orchestra, delightful choreography, colorful sets and costumes to create the spectacle of Lerner and Lowe’s Brigadoon.

Brigadoon is a musical about a Scottish village that appears only once every 100 years, though to the villagers it is only the passing of one night. In Brigadoon, it is still 1746 when two modern hunters stumble on the village just as the wedding of Charlie (Bennett Layman) and Jean (Meg Boyle) is about to be celebrated. Brigadoon is full of lively characters including Meg (Jeanie deLisi) who is looking for the real love of her life. One of the hunters, Tommy (Chris Gray), falls in love with a village lass, Fiona (Nancy Tanner). He decides to stay, even after learning of their secret, and knowing he would never be able to leave again. However, Tommy changes his mind when a disgruntled villager, Harry Beaton (Nathan Trexler) tries to leave, but is stopped before he could cause the village to disappear forever. Sadly, he watches Brigadoon disappear in the mist for another 100 years. Back in New York City, Tommy painfully regrets his decision. With his friend Jeff (David Chappell), he goes back to Scotland to find Brigadoon, even though he knows it won’t be there.

Overall, I found Brigadoon to be an enoyable experience. Takashi Iwasawa and Shelah Novak’s choreography was well executed by the huge cast, although during a few of large dance numbers the cast was cramped on the stage. It also seemed that during a few of the dances townspeople in the background were distracting from the dancing by not being at all animated. Some people on the extreme upstage edge of the crowd were actually doing appropriate activities for the town, but many people seemed to just be standing around. The sword dance at the end of the first act was well performed, although a little difficult to see. I was also expecting a larger number of group of swords to be laid out across the stage.

Chris Gray and David Chappell as the Americans who discover Brigadoon were creditable as their confusion mounted as they learned more about the small town. Gray’s interactions with Nancy Tanner (Fiona) were quite believable as it was apparent they were smitten with each other immediately. Gray seemed to be uneasy on stage though, he simply held his arms stiffly next to his body for many scenes. However Tanner exuded warmth for both family and friends and the strangers. Philip Baedecker as Mr. Lundie, the genteel schoolmaster, was warm and welcoming. Meg was played zestfully by Jeannie DeLisi. Her frustration while trying to seduce Jeff was palpable.

Singing throughout the show was well executed, although at times the large orchestra, under the direction of Muriel Nanninga, overwhelmed the voices from the stage. There was an odd dark spot on downstage left area. I’m not sure if there was some kind of technical issue, but it was quite distracting watching the cast move through the shadow. The set, designed by Glen Bartram, was made up of a very colorful backdrop and a few platforms to create different levels and several wall pieces to form the various homes and buildings. Scene changes were executed a bit slowly at times, which should improve as the run continues. Beth Howard’s costumes were very colorful, emphasizing the difference between the people of Brigadoon and the visitors from New York.

Brigadoon has been brought to life by the Sterling Playmakers. Catch it while you can. Just stay out of the aisles at the beginning of the second act.

Director’s Notes

Brigadoon is all about believing in miracles, and I certainly do believe in them. This show is an example of one. I guess my belief is obvious because besides Brigadoon I directed The Miracle Worker and will be directing Miracle on 34th Street in December 2011! I have been in love with this play since I first saw the movie version at age 13. My favorite quote from Brigadoon is “If ye love someone enough, anything is possible, even miracles.” The miracle of our production’s success has come about through the love and hard work of many people to whom I am most grateful. First Emilie, veteran of many shows, has once again worked miracles by keeping us on budget and doing the many thankless tasks as a producer has to do on a show, assisted by Doris. I couldn’t have done it without them. The musical trio of Wyndy, Muriel, and Joe demonstrated their love of the show by giving us wonderful eight-part harmonies and playing the beautiful Lerner and Loewe music. The authentic Scottish dances, including the challenging sword dance were expertly choreographed by Takashi, himself a Scottish dance competitor. The other lovely dances were miraculously choreographed by Shelah. My assistant director, April, was a special gift of support and help. I don’t have the space her to thank everyone, but our technical staff deserves special mention, since I left them for two weeks while they built the set, painted, focused lights, built costumes, assembled props, designed makeup, worked on publicity, and got us ready for rehearsals on my return. Thanks to all of you, especially Scott, Terry, Beth, Helen, Diana, Angela, Annelise, and both Davids. Finally our wonderful cast were themselves a miracle. “Amateur” means we do this all for love, rather than money. It does not mean that we are not equal to professionals in quality. You are all “pros!” As Brigadoon disappears once more in the mists, I know it is “there my heart forever lies.” Thanks again to all, and to the Playmakers’ Board for entrusting me with this miracle!

Kathy Bleutge

Cast

  • Tommy: Chris Gray
  • Jeff: David Chappell
  • Sandy Dean: Michael Bleutge
  • Hamish MacGregor: Luis Mora
  • Stuart Dalrymple: Tim Griffin
  • Angus MacGuffie: Scott Tousley
  • Meg Brockie: Jeannie DeLisi
  • Archie Beaton: Bryan Layman
  • Harry Beaton: Nathan Trexler
  • Andrew MacLaren: Ted Fredrick
  • Fiona MacLaren: Nancy Noel
  • Jean MacLaren: Meg Boyle
  • Charlie Dalrymple: Bennett Layman
  • Maggie Anderson: Jordan Lohmeyer
  • Kate (Jean’s Friend): Heather Reed
  • Mr. Lundie: Philip Baedecker
  • Frank (Bartender): Jack Tenshaw
  • Jane Ashton: Beth Howard
  • Featured Dancer/Villager: Kelly Gray
  • Featured Dancer/Villager: Scott Ruegg
  • Sword Dancers: Nathan Treler, Bennett Layman, Nguyen Nguyen
  • Bagpiper: Jamie Fountain
  • Charlie’s Lads: Ramon Antonio, Keaton Crowe, Imran Malik, Nguyen Nguyen, Pery Salyer, Chris Sanderson
  • Jean’s Lassies: Jessica Ashworth, Katie Buckman, Courtney Garofolo, Abby Gray, Helena Hamilton, Susanna Jacobson, Katy Layman, Sarah Reed, Alli Roaquin, Marion Smedberg, Ashley Tenshaw, Samantha Wooley
  • Villag Ladies: Katie andeerson, Anita Ault Maria Bissex, Lori Brooks, Joni Carluzzo, Sally Ann Flores, Angela Hepola, Elaine Layman, Amy Lindsay Litteral, Annelisse Lohmeyer, Susan Mosley, Francine Orr, Elizabeth Pittman, Edith Reed, Carolyn Tousley
  • Village Gentlemen: Dan Clrk, keith Flore, Hrb Fuller, Dvid H. Hopkins, John Hur, Craig McKee, Nathaniel Adams Redden, jack Tenshaw
  • Village Bairns: Beth Bleutge, Demetrio DuPlissey, Melody Flores, Jen Garofolo, Daniel Hur, Abby Irons, Logan Langtry, Abby Lohmeyer, Sydney Maloney, Joanie Marshall, Caitlin orr, Leecy Silk, Lindsey Silk, Abigail Tenshaw, Kristen Waagner, Zack Wold
  • Brigadoon Choir: Heather Reed, Amy Lindsay Litteral, Maria Bissex*, Carolyn Tousley, Susanna Jacobson, Alli Roaquin*, Joni Carluzzo, Lora Brooks, Abby Gray, Kelly Gray, Elaine La yman, Sarah Reed*, Imran Malik, Pery Salyer, Scott Tousley, Kieth Flores, Tim Griffin, David H. Hopkins, Ted Frederick, Nathaniel Adam Redden. (*Alternate)
  • Understudies: Tommy: Kieth Flores
  • Jeff: Dan Clark
  • Stuart Dalrymple: Kieth Flores
  • Meg Brockie: Katie Anderson
  • Harry Beaton: Nguyen Nguyen
  • Fiona MacLaren: Maria Bissex
  • Jean MacLaren: Ashley Tenshaw
  • Charlie Dalrymple: Imran Mlik
  • Jane Ashton: Kelly Gray
  • Sword Dancer: Scott Ruegg

Orchestra

  • Conductor: Muriel Nanninga
  • Violin: Meagan Frame, Celaya Kirchner, Carson Kirchner
  • Viola: Betty Brody
  • Cello: Meredith Farnam
  • Flute/Piccolo: Diana Larson
  • Clarinet: Audrey Reale, Brett Tackas
  • Oboe: Jane Hughes
  • Bassoon: Richard Sargeant
  • French Horn: Ako Shiffer
  • Trumpet: John Friedman, John Paganelli
  • Percussion: Andrew Coyle
  • Piano: Joe Faber

Crew

  • Producer: Emilie Pugh
  • Director: Katheen Bleutge
  • Musical Director: Muriel Nanninga
  • Choral Director: Wyndy Fredrick
  • Choreographers: Takashi Iwasawa, Shelah Novak
  • Assistant Producer: Doris Argall
  • Assistant Director: April Bridgeman
  • Technical Director: Scott Ruegg
  • Production Stage Manager: Helen Gernhardt
  • Stage Manager: David Reed
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Megan Collins, Kelsey Hancher
  • Rehearsal/Show Pianist: Joe Faber
  • Alternate Pianists: Abby Gray, Margaret Lin Waagner
  • Fight Consultant: Terry Smith
  • Dialect consultant: Philip Baedecker
  • Set Designer: Glen Bartram
  • Costume Designer: Beth Howard
  • Costume Construction: Beth Howard, Lily Dehghan, Jeannie DeLisi, Karen Fry, Helen Gernhardt, Abby Gray, Kelly Gray, Francine Orr, Meg Roosma, Scott Ruegg, Margaret Lin Waagner, jenny Wood
  • Lighting Designer/Tecnician: Terry Nelson DiMurro
  • Lighting Crew: David Chappell, Bill Fry, Chris Gray, David Reed
  • Sound Designers: John Paganelli, Brett Takas
  • Sound Technician: Meghan Voyack
  • Props Mistress: Diana Knollman
  • Props Crew: Lora Buckman, Peggy Darr, Barbara Gillen, Annabel Johson
  • Running Crew Chief/Special Effects: Steven L. Barker
  • Running Crew: Johnathan Darr, Morgan Ferrari, Lori Sonderegger, Julie Tousley
  • Runner: Leandra Lynn
  • Make-up Designer: Annelisse Lohmeyer
  • Make-up Crew: Jordan Lohmeyer, Keely Mitchell, Jerri Wiseman
  • Publicity Manager: Angela Hepola
  • Sign Board: Angela Hepola
  • Graphics Designer: Kevin G. Summers
  • Photographer: Paul Gernhardt
  • Photographer Assistant: Paula Towry
  • Box Office On-line Sales: Tim Silk
  • Box office Staff: Courtney Korb, Mary Beth Pittman, Burgan Pugh, Roseann Vecchio, Tom Vecchio
  • House Managers: Susan Bleutge, Laura Garogolo
  • Ushers: Sandy Argall, Georgia Belle, John Bleutge, Stephanie Bleutge, Kent Bommer, Joe Campanella, Mark Humphrey, Delany Knollman, Maddy Layman, Tyler Lohmeyer, Andrew Messina, Molly Morales, Erin Morgan, Ryan Orr, Katie Reilly
  • Bulk Mail Manager: Joe Campanella
  • Bulk Mail Crew: Doris Argall, Anita Ault, Philip Baedecker, April Bridgeman, Kimberely Fry, Laura Garofolo, Tim Griffin, Takashi Iwasawa, Susn Mosley, Emilie Pugh, Joseph Salyer, Linda Salyer
  • Audition Assistants: Lra Buckman, Joe Campanella, Megan Collins, Laura Garofolo, Barbara Gillen, Annelisse Lohmeyer, Burgan Pugh, David Reed
  • Dance Workshop Instructor: Takashi Iawsawa
  • Workshop Assistant: Robin Drake
  • Workshop Welcome Assistants: Doris Argall, Beth Bleutge
  • Move-in Crew: David Chappell, Katie Chppell, Dan Clark, Jeannie DeLisi, Terry DiMurro, Kieth Flores, Sally Ann Flores, Chris Gray, Tim Griffin, Bryan Layman, Craig McKee, Francine Orr, Emilie Pugh, Adam edden, Scott Ruegg, Scott tousley, Meghan Voyack
  • Set Construction: Katie Anderson, Ramon Antonio, Jessica Ashworth, Andrew Beichler, Meg Boyle, April Bridgeman, Lori Brooks, Joni Carluzzo, David Chappell, Katie Chappell, Dan Clark, Megan Collins, Keaton Crowe, Johnathan Darr, Jeanni DeLisi, Terry DiMurro, Robin Drake, Kieth Flores, Sally Ann Flores, Ted Fredrick, Courtney Garafolo, Laura Garafolo, Abby Gray, Chris Gray, Kelly Gray, Tim Griffin, Alex Hall, Max Hall, Angela Hopkins, Angela Hepola, Daniel Hur, John Hur, Courtney korb, Bennett Lyman, Bryan Layman, Elaine Layman, Katie Layman, Celia Lechtman, Amy Limdsay Litteral, Leandra Lynn, Imran Mlik, Joe Maloney, Craig McKee, Susan Mosley, Denali Neidig, Marylou Neidig, Harry Neidig, Harry Neidig IV, Jacob Neidig, Nguyen Nguyen, Nancy Noel, Francine Orr, Karen Parcelli, Katie Parcelli, Kristi parcelli, Adam Redden, David Reed, Scott Ruegg, Jordan Sanderegger, Chris Sanderson, Marion Smedberg, liz Smith. Ashley Tenshaw, Carolyn Tousley, Scott Tousley, Nathan Trexlr, Meghan Voyack, Jim Whitmore, Travis Wilt, Zack Wold

Disclaimer: Sterling Playmakers allowed ShowBizRadio to attend their final dress rehearsal for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Thanks so much for coming to our Invitational Dress Rehearsal of Brigadoon! We appreciate your support of our community theatre production. I am happy to say that several of the things you mentioned in the review were fixed, and we had three wonderful performances this past weekend. Incidentally, we had blown a light right before the dress rehearsal you saw, and that caused the dark spot you observed that night. We got it fixed by opening night! The orchestra and sound folks got a good balance also. Thanks again for attending our rehearsal, and do come again in the future!