The last time I saw Shawn Maxfield on a Salt Lake stage he was ripping - literally - through "The Sword of Zorro - from Z to Shining Z" at the Desert Star Playhouse. (It was a most memorable, seat-of-your-pants finale.)
Now, nearly a decade later, after honing his considerable talent in California, Nevada and Arizona, he's returned to Salt Lake City. His matinee-idol good looks and nicely matured voice are a perfect match for equally talented soprano Kristine Jorgensen. As perplexed New Yorker Tommy Albright and beguiling Scottish lass Fiona MacLaren, they are the centerpiece of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe's lilting tale of the mystical village of Brigadoon.Expertly directed by Maikel Bailey and choreographed by Shelly Cordova, the cast also includes Kevin Gollaher as Tommy's cynical hunting partner, Jeff Douglas (his tab at Fido's bar is high . . . and so is he); Peggy Ruth Deming as the feisty and flirtatious Meg Brockie, Ron Johnson as schoolmaster Mr. Lundie; Joshua Madsen, seething with pent-up anger as Harry Beaton, Tom Stam as Harry's father, Archie; Darin Hathaway as soon-to-be-wed Charlie Dalrymple; and Elizabeth Thornell as his young bride.
In between some of the most lyrical, romantic ballads ever written for the stage ("Heather on the Hill" and "Almost Like Being in Love" are just two), strong-willed milkmaid Meg speeds up the tempo with her wild, musical shenanigans in "The Love of My Life" and "My Mother's Weddin' Day."
Another brief highlight was Mike Bartles' flawless work on the bagpipes during the Act Two funeral procession.
Jay Gunderson's 16-piece orchestra kept Lowe's lovely score at just the right level (with only a couple of exceptions, you could hear almost all of the lyrics).
J. Chad Davis' scenery, David Joy's lighting, Diane Allen's costuming and Michael Klint's sound design (for the most part) added to the Grand Theatre's professional feel. There were, as usual, a few sound problems.
Somewhere between the mist and the stars - though not on any map - is Brigadoon. But you can find it from now through Sept. 26 at SLCC's Grand Theatre.
While "Brigadoon" may appear out of the Highland mists every 100 years, it's sure nice to have the musical done more often than that - especially in such capable hands as Maikel Bailey and his team.