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April 18, 2013

Pentucket Players to present 'Brigadoon'

In May 1971, the Living Presence Experimental Theatre presented a production of Lerner & Loewe’s musical “Brigadoon” at the Haverhill High School auditorium.

Now, more than 40 years later, John Buzzell, who appeared in that production as “Mr. Lundie,’’ is directing the well- known musical in a new production.

The musical fantasy will be presented by Pentucket Players, Inc. of the Merrimack Valley. It is being staged April 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. and April 20 and 21 at 2 p.m. at Merrimack College’s Rogers Center for the Arts.

“Brigadoon” tells the story of an enchanted village, deep in the Highlands of Scotland, that appears for one day every 100 years. The award-winning musical score features such memorable hits as “Almost Like Being In Love” and the beautiful wedding song “Come to Me; Bend to Me.”

Buzzell is a resident of Haverhill and is the executive artistic director for the group, which he co-founded 19 years ago. Conducting the pit of 12 professional musicians, as well as music-directing the cast of more than 40, is Alan Freedman of North Andover.

Original choreography, including the high-stepping “Sword Dance,” has been created by Annmarie Latulip of Lawrence. She also plays the role of Bonnie Jean.

More than 10 communities from the Merrimack Valley area are represented in the cast, with actors ranging in age from 5 to 60.

Marie Bliven of Methuen serves as group president and has also designed the costumes for the production. With scenic effects created by local artist Leslie McGrath and multiple settings created by the show’s carpenters, the production stands up to the group’s high standards.

Local residents appearing include: Haverhill High teacher Beth Tilden, Silver Hill School fourth-grader Mackenzie Murphy, Jessica Woodard, Guy “Terry’’ Kelley, Hunking Middle School eighth-grader Holly McGrath and Cori Thurlow. The cast also includes, for the very first time together, the entire Sasha Zbitnoff family.

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