Community invited to take a trip to Scotland with North musical

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 20, 2013

 North students take the stage for a rehearsal of “Brigadoon.”

North students take the stage for a rehearsal of “Brigadoon.”

Photo by April Lehmbeck

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — North students plan to raise their voices on a stage set in the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands during this year’s musical,  “Brigadoon.”

During a recent rehearsal involving the several dozen cast and crew members and more than 20 students who make up the orchestra pit, Director Don Bischoff, who has been choreographing and working on performances at North for the last few years, and who has extensive experience as a director with the Grosse Pointe Theatre, talked about the great student voices that set the stage for this type of show.

He said he and North Choir Director Ben Henri were talking about the direction the show should go this year, and they chose “Brigadoon” to showcase the talent of the students.

“We have a very strong vocal cast this year,” Bischoff said. “We want to show our strength in vocals.”

“It’s a beautiful set,” Bischoff said when talking about some of the reasons people should come out to enjoy the show. The students “sing so well. Their vocals are so strong.” 

“Bridadoon,” a magical story about a mythical Scottish village, will take the stage at the Grosse Pointe Performing Arts Center, 707 Vernier, at 7:30 p.m. March 7, and March 8 and 9, as well.

So far, rehearsals are going very well as they move toward opening night, Bischoff said.

“We had the best group of kids I’ve had in the four years that I’ve been here,” he said.

He said these students show that “they want to be here.” 

The cast includes a number of students who are regulars on the stage in North’s performances, as well as some students who are making their debut in North’s drama program.

Sophomore Emily Surzyn, 15, is one of those students who came out for her first time on the stage.

“I’ve always been interested in singing and dancing, so I thought, ‘Why not?’” she said. “I love it.”

She plans to try out again next year.

Freshman Olivia Hoover is also new to the stage for North, but she did have experience in performing while at Parcells Middle School.

“We have a really close cast and I like the music and dancing,” she said. “It’s really fun.”

Dan Vicary, the technical director in the district, is well-known for his detailed and stunning scenery, which he and his crew builds for North and South shows. This show won’t disappoint with its natural scenery creating an ethereal Scottish backdrop for the performance.

“We have to be in show-mode here,” Vicary shouted to a crowd of players during a recent rehearsal night. It was the first rehearsal with the orchestra pit, an all-student ensemble.

To purchase tickets to a performance, visit Wild Birds Unlimited, 20381 Mack, for advance tickets, or the Performing Arts Center on the night of the shows.

For more information, call (313) 343-0006.