‘Brigadoon’ will bring authentic Scottish music and dance to Draper
Jul 31, 2018 02:24PM
● By City Journals Staff
Bradley Hatch and Serena Mackerell play Tommy Albright and Fiona Campbell in Draper Arts Council’s “Brigadoon.” (Photo courtesy Draper Arts Council)
By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]
The magical, mythical Scottish village of “Brigadoon” will come to life on the Draper Amphitheater stage in late August. This production of the classic Broadway musical by Draper Arts Council will feature not only talented actors, singers and dancers from the community, but also dance numbers choreographed by local Scottish dance instructor Carol Elrick in addition to authentic Scottish music performed by the Utah Pipe Band at some performances.
“Bridgadoon” tells the story of two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland who stumble upon an enchanted village that only appears for one day every hundred years. They find themselves swept up in the lives of the town folk experiencing drama, danger and romance. In the end, one man must choose whether to go back to his old life in New York or stay forever with his newfound love in the highlands of Scotland.
Producer Jocelyn Allred describes the show as “an iconic tale of love.” One of the overriding themes, she said, is to “trust in magic.”
“Brigadoon” (1947) was the first successful collaboration by Broadway lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. The pair went on to write more hit musicals including “Paint Your Wagon” (1951) and “My Fair Lady” (1956). “Almost Like Being in Love” is perhaps the best known song from “Brigadoon” and has become part of the “Great American Songbook.”
Assistant producer Tamara Stokes said one reason Draper Arts Council chose this musical was because the play’s highland setting fits so well with the outdoor space of Draper Amphitheatre with its green vistas and rolling hills. “It is a beautiful story in a beautiful setting with beautiful dancers,” she said.
There are different styles of dance in “Brigadoon” and two local choreographers, Elrick and Ivy Wilson, will be working together on this production. Elrick, who grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, will be choreographing the traditional Scottish dance numbers such as the sword dance. “We want to make it as authentic as we can,” she said. Elrick has taught Scottish country dancing and highland dancing since moving to Utah 23 years ago.
“Scottish country dancing and highland dancing is something I’ve done all my life,” said Elrick, who has been dancing since age 2. She wasn’t a fan of some productions of “Brigadoon” because the dancing didn’t look anything like the authentic Scottish dances she had grown up with. In recent years, however, both Elrick and her husband have become involved with choreography and dialect coaching for productions of “Brigadoon” in northern Utah. The Draper Arts Council production will be Elrick’s third.
Adding to the musical authenticity of “Brigadoon” will be the Utah Pipe Band. Founded in 1937, the Utah Pipe Band is the oldest continuously operated Scottish bagpipe band in the western United States. Their full complement of drummers and pipers will play in some performances.
“Brigadoon” features a cast of 50 actors from the Draper community. The director, Robin Edwards, will be making her directorial debut at Draper Arts Council with this production. She teaches drama at Olympus High School where she has directed student theater.
Draper Arts Council is dedicated to producing quality community musical theater and is sponsored by Draper Community Foundation and ZAP. The nonprofit organization stages five productions each year and is always looking for more volunteers. Following “Brigadoon,” Draper Arts Council will present their annual Big Band Tribute Show Sept. 7 and 8.
“Brigadoon” will be presented Aug. 24, 25, 27, 31 and Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. at Draper City Amphitheater, 944 East Vestry Road. Tickets may be purchased online via the Draper City Amphitheater website (www.draper.ut.us) or in person at the Draper Parks & Recreation department office, 1020 East Pioneer Road.