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Magic in the Scottish mist

(Ran North, South editions)

In a total turnaround in mood and ambience from its current show, Cabaret, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre will open the romantic musical fantasy Brigadoon on March 3.

Where Cabaret is set in a dark and dour Germany on the brink of World War II, Brigadoon is set in a perfect, mythical land in a perfectly green Scotland in the 17th century - or is it the 20th century?

It's the story of two cynical New York hunters, Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas (Christopher Swan and Tony Messina), who are lost in the Scottish countryside when they stumble into a mysterious village that obviously doesn't belong in the 20th century.

As they get to know the townspeople, they learn that the village is called Brigadoon, and not only is it enchanting, it is enchanted.

Three centuries earlier, a spell had been cast upon the village that allows it to reappear only one day every century. If any of the townspeople leave, the spell is broken, and the village will be gone forever.

As luck would have it, Tommy meets and falls in love with a local beauty, Fiona MacLaren (Laura Christianson), despite that he is engaged to a woman back in New York.

Meanwhile, his buddy Jeff is enjoying a dalliance with the village flirt, Meg Brockie (Jodi Beck).

Everyone is happy and singing Scottish tunes - Down on MacConnachy Square, Waiting for My Dearie, I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean - when danger arises. A local man who says he is losing his true love threatens to leave Brigadoon, which would end the little village's very existence.

Meanwhile, Tommy and Fiona are dancing through the countryside to Come to Me, Bend to Me, and Tommy is beginning to worry about leaving the person who may be the love of his life.

There are exciting sword dances (Zack Fowler and Danny Harrigan), a wedding procession for Fiona's little sister Jean (Andrea Eskin) and other town business involving the sizable cast of 30 in colorful songs and dances.

There's even a bagpiper, Pipe Maj. Frank P. Mehok.

The director-choreographer is Katie Kerwin, who co-directed and choreographed Anything Goes, Sugar Babies and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and played Velma in Chicago at the Show Palace.

Costume designer is Pamela Crevcoure, resident costume designer at the University of Akron.

For the show, set designer Tom Hansen has created one the largest and most elaborate sets ever seen at the Show Palace, said production stage manager Todd Eskin.

If you go

WHAT: Brigadoon, a musical fantasy

WHERE: Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson

WHEN: March 3-April 16. Performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, and 1:30 p.m. some Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Doors open two hours before each show for full cash bar and included buffet.

TICKETS: Dinner and show, $41; show only, $29.95, plus tax and tip. Call 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.

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