related topics
{son, year, death}
{god, call, give}
{film, series, show}
{day, year, event}
{land, century, early}
{village, small, smallsup}
{line, north, south}
{island, water, area}
{language, word, form}
{town, population, incorporate}
{car, race, vehicle}
{build, building, house}

Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as "Almost Like Being in Love" have become standards.

It 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 original production 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.


Origins of the story

Lerner's book was based on a much older German story by Friedrich Gerstäcker, later translated by Charles Brandon Schaeffer, about the mythical village of Germelshausen that fell under an evil magic curse. In 1947, memories of World War II were too fresh to present a German-themed musical on Broadway, so Lerner reimagined the story in Scotland, complete with kilts, bonnie lasses, bagpipes, Highland flings and "Heather on the Hill".

In his memoirs, The Street Where I Live, Lerner denied that he had based the book on an older story. He writes that after New York Times critic George Nathan had accused him of stealing the plot the Times "called and offered me space to answer him, which I did, labeling the whole accusation as rubbish and documenting the developments of [the] play into the final product." He goes on to write, "Nevertheless, to this day chroniclers of the musical theater invariably state Brigadoon was based on a folk tale and give Nathan as their authority." [1]

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