Although Easter always seems to be the beginning of Spring, this upcoming Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011, has additional vernal significance for our class. It marks the 45th anniversary of the last time the curtain closed on Brigadoon, the Spring musical in our senior year of high school. Looking back on it, given the proximity of that performance to our last days in the school, the last days we would all be together, Brigadoon seems to stand as a bittersweet reminder not just of beginnings, but endings as well.
That is a very long time. Forty five years after we left Bishop Kearney is now. Forty five years before we entered Bishop Kearney, Western Civilization was locked in World War One, the "Great War" of our grandparents. That's how long it has been. World War One long. In those 45 years you have had plenty of time for the high school memories to fade, but they are about to become much more vivid.
From a drawer somewhere, stored away for all those years on an old and nearly forgotten reel-to-reel tape in miraculously good condition, the ghost of Brigadoon has arisen to speak to us. To sing for us.
I just listened to it. As I did, the years melted away instantly. Within a few moments I was back in the Bishop Kearney auditorium, sitting in the tacky green seats, listening to the voices of Brother Clark and Brother Heathwood as they spoke to the assembled student body. I have now been divorced for more than a quarter of a century from the woman who played Meg, yet when I sat in my auditorium of the mind and listened to her sing these songs, I didn't even know that I would some day fall in love with her. I was in the time machine, completely transported back to adolescence, to a time when all achievements seemed possible, and the highway of life seemed to stretch out infinitely before me, like Interstate 15 plunging out of Barstow to penetrate the endless desert under eternally cloudless skies. Oh, if only life's real paths were more like that, and less like the twisted cobblestone streets and rain-drenched back alleys of European art films.
Well, you can have the infinite horizon of youth back for a few minutes. Like me, you are about to rewind the tape of your life, to experience the pounds melting away, the gray disappearing, the hairline returning, the eyesight sharpening. In your mind's eye you are about to see Ray Jesien making his cocky, good-natured lope across the stage; to hear "Macks" crooning; to see Mary Jean restored to life in all of her beauty and sweetness. Just below lies your youth. So brush your teeth with Ipana, put on your Hush Puppies, and climb into the time machine.
The program has been donated courtesy of Joe "Sandy" Hall, who had a pristine copy.
If you hadn't already realized it, the smaller pictures are just thumbnails. Click on each of them to see the full-sized versions.
|Intro by director J.L. Heathwood, overture|
|"Prologue," "Brigadoon," "MacConnachy Square"||Joe Hall, Kathy Smith, chorus|
|"Waitin' for My Dearie"||Mary Jean Manion|
|"I'll Go Home With Bonnie Jean"||Mike Leonard|
|"Heather on the Hill"||Randy Macksamie, Mary Jean Manion|
|"The Love of My Life"||Kathy Smith|
|"Jeanie's Packin' Up"||Mary Jean Filiberti and chorus|
|"Come to Me, Bend to Me"||Mike Leonard|
|"Almost Like Being in Love"||Randy Macksamie, Mary Jean Manion|
|"The Chase", act 1 ends|
|"Act 2 start"|
|"There But For you Go I"||Randy Macksamie, Mary Jean Manion|
|"My Mother's Weddin' Day"||Kathy Smith and chorus|
|"From This Day On"||Randy Macksamie, Mary Jean Manion|
|"Come to Me, Bend to Me" (reprise)||Eileen Kennedy|
|"Heather on the Hill" (reprise)||Mary Jean Manion|
|"I'll Go Home With Bonnie Jean" (reprise)||Mike Leonard|
|"From This Day On" (reprise) "McConnachy Square" (reprise)||Randy Macksamie, Mary Jean Manion, Chorus|
|Brother Clark's comments|
The recording has been donated by Jim McPherson. It was made on April 23, 1966.
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