Musical Theater

A Revised Brigadoon: An Important Musical Theater Milestone

Brigadoon at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago: Jamy Meek (Ensemble), Maggie Portman (Meg Brockie) and Richard Strimer (Ensemble)

Sacrilege! Impertinence! Brigadoon, that beloved 1947 Golden Age musical about a Scottish town that awakens only once a century, has been rewritten! Ignoring silent protests and fears of Brigadoon fans everywhere, the Goodman Theatre of Chicago is presenting a new production with a new book.

Hold on to your bagpipes—they made it even better.

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway

Musical jelly beans are scattered all over Broadway. If well done, these shows are colorful and fun to eat. They taste good going down, give you a temporary high but ultimately are empty calories. They leave you with nothing.

Then there’s the current revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. You might not be able to hum all its songs as you exit the theatre, but you’ll surely be thinking Sondheim, feeling Sondheim. And for many days to come you’ll be reflecting on all he has to say about human follies, relationships and, depending on your age, your own life choices

Where’s Charley? by George Abbott and Frank Loesser at City Center Encores!

Sometimes it can be the simplest gesture that tips off an audience they’re in for a theatrical treat. In the recent City Center Encores! revival of Where’s Charley? the clue took place in the opening quartet in which two young couples alternated in duet. When they weren’t singing, the performers pulled their chests up high, linked arms and bounced subtly and elegantly on their toes in time to the music. Here was imaginative choreography where an understated move (think Fosse’s hat-tilt) said everything! Here were singers who could dance! With just one exception, the entire performance lived up to its early promise of stylish fun.

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