- Audio CD (Dec 7 2018)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Ghostlight
- ASIN: B07JVF7M3C
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Lerner & Loewe's Brigadoon (2017 Encores Cast Recording)
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Audio CD, Dec 7 2018
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Before My Fair Lady and Camelot there was Brigadoon. City Center brought back this classic musical out of the Highlands mist for its 70th anniversary in a star-studded concert production, now preserved on a new cast album. Patrick Wilson (two-time Tony Award nominee, Oklahoma! and The Full Monty) is Tommy Albright and Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show) is his friend Jeff Douglas—both are jaded New Yorkers who stumble into an idyllic Scottish town that appears for only one day every century. Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) is Fiona, the woman who quickly steals Tommy’s heart. Stephanie J. Block (two-time Tony Award nominee, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Falsettos) is Meg Brockie, Fiona’s flirty dairymaid best friend who takes a liking to Jeff. Robert Fairchild (Tony Award nominee for An American in Paris) plays the rebellious Harry Beaton who is in love with Fiona’s younger sister, Jean (Sara Esty, An American in Paris). However, Jean is getting married to Charlie Dalrymple (Ross Lekites, Kinky Boots), which sends Harry into a rage—causing him to jeopardize the very existence of the mystical village of Brigadoon. This album features The Encores! Orchestra, led by Music Director Rob Berman. The CD package includes a 32-page booklet with lyrics, show photos, a synopsis, and a liner note.
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I have been a little surprised that the reviews I have seen so far have been more comparisons to the fabulous McGlinn studio recording of the early 90’s. There is definitely room for both and more. I thought the Avid Reader comments were not particularly helpful and a two star rating pretty unfair. I was between a 4 and 5 star, so seeing his rating, I went with a 5! Mr. Oser’s commentary was much fairer and very informative and I tend to agree with most of his points, so will only comment/elaborate on a few.
I did see this production, which used most of the incredible artistic talent from the City Center Encores! team. I recall the production did have the extended ballet/dance sequences remarkably choreographed and danced amazingly led by Robert Fairchild as well as the incidental music. I suspect the reason they are not all on this CD was due to costs, very sad. Editorializing a bit, if I ever won one of the mega million lotteries, I would immediately fund Encores! to record/release pretty much everything they do. Their productions are consistently on the highest level with some of Broadway’s best talent and unfortunately most have just come and gone over the years with no commercial recording to memorialize them.
I think Kelli O’Hara and Patrick Wilson did a great rendition here, but I do agree that Wilson’s does not come across as well in the recording. He was very convincing on stage. As a side note, he was actually a late replacement for Steven Pasquale, who I had been really looking forward to seeing in the role and I think would have been better vocally. I think Kelli O’Hara is always excellent, whether it be musical comedy or opera. I think her voice/range works well in both genres and is a pleasure to listen to on this CD.
Meg Brockie is one of my favorite characters in the musical, but most people familiar with only the original cast album, movie and TV version are probably unfamiliar with her role since it was cut pretty drastically (apparently due to ridiculous censoring). I also love Judy Kaye’s performance, but I now give my top nod to Stephanie J Block. Her performances of The Love of My Life and My Mother’s Weddin’ Day are phenomenal…I think there are still some You Tube clips of her out there as well. They were show stoppers and these two numbers alone make it worth buying this recording. Also love the interpretations Susan Johnson, Lesley Mackie (London 1988 Cast) as well as many of the college productions and other Meg renditions available on the net.
I definitely highly recommend this recording, but agree the McGlinn version should also be in your library. But either way, you can’t go wrong!