• By Lauren Schild of Briar Woods High School
While the saying “seeing is believing” may appear out of date, Herndon High School’s production of the classic musical Brigadoon shows that good things do come to those who wait, even if its for one hundred years. The cast brought something new to the show through their sprinkled bits of well-placed comedy and overall understanding of the dynamics found in a true ensemble.
First emerging in 1947, Brigadoon ran on Broadway for over 581 performances. The show then went overseas to West End in 1949 and many revivals, including a 1954 film, have carried on this piece’s heartwarming story.
When Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas (Paul Morgan and Chris Hrozencik respectively), two Americans on vacation in Scotland, become lost fog rolls in and soothing voices begin to call out. Following the noise, the two happen upon a place curiously not appearing on their map and they’re welcomed into the bustling yet peculiar Scottish town of Brigadoon.
Tommy meets Fiona MacLaren (Molly Nuss) and, although already engaged, begins to fall in love with her. However, as the town prepares for a wedding between Jean MacLaren (Megan Overton) and Charlie Dalrymple (Cameron Copeland), Tommy and Jeff make an unbelievable discovery about the town: it only appears once every one hundred years and if anyone from Brigadoon leaves, the town will disappear.
Forced to choose between his new love and his old life, Tommy must decide if he should follow his head or his heart but as one unhappy towns member tries to leave the choice may not be up to him at all.
The vibrant cast drove Herdon High School’s interpretation through their smooth vocals and friendly physicality that made the cast’s characters enjoyable. Lively songs such as “I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean” were performed with gusto that helped to breathe fresh air into the performance.
Paul Morgan had a solid stage presence through his evident class and charm. His well-timed reactions were almost always fresh and his rich voice, with just the right amount of that 1940s feel, seemed almost designed for the exquisite score.
Playing the frank yet gentle Fiona MacLaren, Molly Nuss utilized playful character choices visible not only through her actions but in her singing as well. Her voice had a presence of it’s own, through the quality of its tone and a controlled vibrato that seemed to add emotional layers.
Each romantic couple of the show took the demands of their relationship in stride and brought a refreshing focus that helped create levels of chemistry. Megan Overton and Cameron Copeland were especially able to bring a coy and endearing feel to their newlywed bliss.
The charming song “Come to Me, Bend to Me,” performed by Copeland with powerful emotional reactions, highlighted Overton’s graceful skill as a dancer and created enchanting moments for both to take their relationship one step further. Chris Hrozencik displayed impeccable comedic timing and brisk off the wall movements that add new style to the traditional “wingman.”
The members of the fantastic orchestra seemed to manage the timeless score with ease. Their ability to blend with the cast in order to keep focus on elements occurring on stage is commendable. While there was some sound issues as well as some distracting lighting, this was more than countered by the hard-working running crew.
With a focus on Scottish culture, Brigadoon is a rare find to see performed at high schools. However, the cast of Herndon High School’s production strove to meet this challenge through their moving vocal numbers and fun attitudes that added just the right amount of contagious righteous intensity.
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