Scottish Musical Fantasy “Brigadoon” to Come to Life at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre

(Orem, Utah) — With more than six decades of theater to his credit, Jerry Elison has directed hundreds of plays. “Brigadoon” rests at the top of his favorites.

“It’s because of the musical score” he says. “I absolutely love the gorgeous music. There are so many classical pieces to cherish such as ‘There But For You Go I,’ ‘Heather on the Hill,’ ‘Almost Like Being in Love’ and ‘Come to Me, Bend to Me.’ I have directed ‘Brigadoon’ four times, but I have always wanted to showcase it again. I am thrilled to have the privilege of directing this 57-person cast.”

SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre will present “Brigadoon” Aug. 4 to 19 at 8:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older.  Patrons can bring a blanket or rent a chair for $1.00 (limited quantities.)  There are specific sections for chairs and blankets.  Reserved areas with a free chair are also available at an additional cost. Non-profit and church groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $6 each. Tickets can be obtained at www.scera.org, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, between 10-6 weekdays at SCERA Center for the Arts (745 South State, Orem), or at the Shell gate one hour prior to performance.

The show was also chosen to tour to BYU Education Week for four performances.

What especially pleases Elison is that he is introducing the musical to a new generation. “We had many people come to the auditions, and most of the younger ones knew very little about ‘Brigadoon’ or any of the other wonderful Lerner and Loewe works,” he says. “A few of them had looked up the musical on the Internet, but they didn’t know anything about the fantasy of a village that came alive one day every century. I’m getting a kick out of how many have fallen in love with a musical I have loved for decades.”

Elison says his entire cast is strong, and what pleases him especially is how many are accomplished dancers. “I have an ensemble of young women who are marvelous,” he explains.  “This allows my choreographer, Christopher Gallacher, to get everybody dancing. Chris, a folk dancer himself, has done full cast choreography, which should be stunning as they dance in Brigadoon’s MacConanchy Square and in such major production numbers such as ‘I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean.’”

The story unfolds as two American tourists—one cynical and the other idealistic—stumble upon a lively village in Scotland called Brigadoon. They learn it’s an enchanted place that disappears into the Highland mist and returns for a single day every 100 years. One of the men falls in love, and must choose between his successful life in New York City and the possibility of a love that transcends time. Composer Lerner said he wanted to write about a love and a faith that was powerful enough to move mountains, and the result was “Brigadoon.”

In addition to his choreographer, Elison is being assisted by music director Dana Cardon, who sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As an interesting side note, more than 30 years ago, Cardon was in a production of “Brigadoon” that Elison directed when she was a young girl; Shawn M. Mortensen, set designer, whom Elison describes as a “man who can do absolutely everything, and remains humble and charming;” Mike Ohran, lighting designer, and Kelsey Seaver, costume designer, who has been buying yards and yards of plaid to bring the Scottish musical to life. Elison says the musical will be boosted by authentic kilts, live bagpipers and Scottish swords. He even had Bill and Caroll Elrick, a couple from Scotland, come in to work with the cast on their Scottish accents and the sword dance.

Leads include Logan Bradford as Tommy Albright, Aubrey Rose Jackson as Fiona MacLaren, Sam Arnold as Jeff Douglas, Maggie Warren as Meg Brockie, David Kocherhans as Mr. Lundie, Elizabeth Crandall as Jean MacLaren, Kyle Hansen as Charlie Dalrymple, Jake Thomas as Stuart Dalrymple and Michael Hess as Harry Beaton.  

“I didn’t need to seek out a single performer,” Elison says. “They all came excited to be part of this romantic drama. And you can’t ask for a better venue to complement ‘Brigadoon’ than the green hill and mountain backdrop at the Shell. This musical should be a summer highlight. It’s that good.”

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