Danbury – Musicals at Richter (MAR), now in its 28th season as the longest-running outdoor theater in Connecticut, continues its 2012 summer season with Lerner and Loewe’s enchanting and romantic musical Brigadoon, running July 5-21. Staged on the grounds of the Richter Arts Center in Danbury, performances take place outdoors under the stars at 8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday evenings through Saturday, July 21, with a specially discounted preview the first Thursday of the run, July 5.
Brigadoon tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever. Two American tourists, lost in the Scottish Highlands, stumble upon the village just as a wedding is about to be celebrated, and their arrival has serious implications for the village's inhabitants.
The score features musical theater standards such as “Almost Like Being in Love,” “Come to Me, Bend to Me,” “Heather on the Hill,” “There But for You Go I,” “From This Day On,” and “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean.”
The original production, featuring choreography by Agnes DeMille, opened on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. Brigadoon then received a West End production opening in 1949 that ran for 685 performances, and many revivals followed. A 1954 film version starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. A 1966 television version starred Robert Goulet and Peter Falk.
Directed and staged by Donald Birely of New York City, the Richter production features a number of newcomers and MAR veterans. Caitlin Mandracchia of Sherman (formerly of Ridgefield) portrays the leading role of Fiona MacLaren opposite her real-life husband Nathan Mandracchia, who plays Tommy, one of the two Americans who happens upon Brigadoon. Dianna Waller of Brewster, NY is the feisty Meg Brockie and Ted Schwartz of Brookfield portrays Tommy’s slightly jaded traveling companion Jeff.
Pat Spaulding of New Fairfield is Mr. Lundie, the town sage and keeper of Brigadoon’s secrets. Brian Bremer of Wilton and Danielle Alfredo of Prospect are young lovers Charlie Dalrymple and Jean MacLaren, with Ben Bisogno of Brewster, NY as Jean’s spurned suitor Harry Beaton. Larry Berger of Carmel, NY portrays Fiona and Jean’s father, Andrew MacLaren.
The ensemble (adult, teen and youth) includes: Steven Taliaferro (Bethel); Maria McArdle (Brookfield); Olivia Cotter, Haley Cronin, Rachel Hesse, Tori Kuffler, Amelia McNeil-Maddox, Olivia Minor, Kieran Minor, Priscilla Squiers, Andrea Stock and Kate Valiska (Danbury); Kelly Renna (Fairfield); Kate Franqueira (New Fairfield); Mike Lozier and Jessica Bowe (New Milford); Caitlin Roberts (Norwalk); Clara Blackwell (Redding); Alexandra Aug, Katie Cummings, Olivia Koziol and Juliana Koziol (Sandy Hook); Spencer Hauspurg (Sherman); and Aran Abilock Clemmons (Wilton).
Cast members from New York State include Janice Gabriel and Carly Phypers (Brewster); Emma Burke-Covitz (Carmel); Christina Fuschetto (Hopewell Junction); Morgan Kate Watson, Marley Roche, Marygrace Orfanella and Erin Vaughn (Patterson); and Linsday Miller (Hopewell Junction)
Production choreography is by Jeri Kansas of Danbury, with musical direction by Tina Marie LoRusso of Waterbury. Elizabeth Cotter of Danbury produces.
Musicals at Richter’s 2012 main stage musical season, underwritten in part by a generous grant from the Danbury Cultural Commission, concludes with Adams and Strouse’s “Bye Bye Birdie” (July 26 - August 11), also directed by Mr. Birely.
For the younger set, the popular children’s theater series “Fairy Tale Theater” celebrates its 14th season of Saturday morning offerings July 7 - 28 rain or shine at Wooster School in Danbury. Longtime Danbury area performer and educator Elyse Jasensky directs an ensemble of young performers in hour-long adaptations of classic tales such as “Aladdin” (July 7), “Rapunzel”/”The Peddler (Caps for Sale)” (July 14), “The Pied Piper” (July 21) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (July 28). All Fairy Tale Theater tickets are $5.
Main stage performances are Friday through Sunday evenings at the Richter Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course, I-84, Exit 2), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury. Tickets for “Brigadoon” are $23 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $15 for students and children, with reduced rates available on Sunday, July 8 and 15. All tickets for the Thursday, July 5 preview are $10. Ticket reservations may be made by phone and through the Musicals at Richter website. Grounds open at 7:15 p.m. for picnicking, with curtain at 8:30 p.m. Group rates are available with advance reservation; chair rentals and soft drink/snack concessions are available on-site.
Now in its 28th season, Musicals at Richter is Connecticut’s longest-running outdoor theater. Performances are given on weekends at the Richter Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury. Nestled in the hills of Western Connecticut, the Arts Center stage has served as the scenic backdrop for over 75 musicals produced by Musicals at Richter, as well as a professional springboard for hundreds of up-and-coming performers. Musicals at Richter is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.
For further information, visit the website at www.musicalsatrichter.org, leave a message at 203-748-6873 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.