Curtain falls on Brigadoon, but the magic remains

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2005


  Mark Burton, one of the leads, takes his final curtain call of the Kenai Performers production of Brigadoon.

Mark Burton, one of the leads, takes his final curtain call of the Kenai Performers production of Brigadoon.

Brigadoon may be the town that time forgot, but the romance and magical music brought to our community by the Kenai Performers will be long remembered. Once again residents of the Kenai Peninsula have been treated to a tremendous effort by the Kenai Performers. The cast of some 80 performers, not including numerous support and back stage crew, invested their time and talents to bring to life the meaningful fantasy created by Alan Lerner and put to music by Broadway legend Frederick Lowe.

Perhaps the experience of Mark Burton, who played the lead role of WWII vet Tommy Albright, best, expressed the privilege of having an active community theatre in the local area. Mark, born and raised on the Peninsula, hadn't kindled an interest in theatre until a few years ago when he first worked back stage with the Kenai Performers. His only other experience was singing in his church choir, yet when a friend encouraged him to try out for the part played on the sliver screen by the infamous Gene Kelly, he did, "I didn't even know what Brigadoon was about, but I landed the part," said Burton. The novice performers then lead the cast with his delightful portrayal of the man who in the end chose to give up everything for love. "I was incredibly nervous at first and had extreme second thoughts about the hamburger I ate for dinner, but everyone did such a great job and got the momentum going, that it was just natural after that. It was a great experience and a lot of fun," said Burton following his opening night performance.

The play itself not only worked its magic on Burton and the cast, but drew in veteran director Carol Ford as well. Ford wrote in her program notes that, "To tell a story with power, one must become the story. But it's hard to live in Brigadoon in 2005. We simply know too much. We have lived too much. We have radios and cell phones. We are wise to the fairy tales and dreams and we know what is real." Yet when the final bow was taken at curtain call and the music from the orchestra pit ended, it was apparent to all in the audience that indeed the Kenai Performers had become the story and that they hadn't left anyone behind to doubt that all good things are possible.

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