Take us back to Brigadoon.
The audience really loved it there. That enchanted Scottish village is portrayed as beautifully as it was meant to be in this production, living up to its full potential with inspiring music, highland dance, and joyful presentation.
The story begins with two American tourists who get lost in the hills of Scotland’s north and come upon a village in the middle of nowhere. It is not on any map and it is called Brigadoon. They are made most welcome by its merry folk and find much of what was missing in their lives at home. There is something mystical about the place and the travellers find they must make a choice before nightfall or lose Brigadoon forever.
The lass with a most beautiful soprano is Leah Oster, as Fiona MacLearan. She has been waiting for her true love to come along – for 100 years or more. Out of the mist appears tourist Tommy Albright, played by Paul McQuillan. What ensues is a love story with an urgent enigma; whether to follow head or heart. Both actors are familiar on the Drayton Entertainment scene and their performances are both truly heartfelt and heady.
The not-so-romantic couple, preferring to get down to business as evidenced by his donning of the triumphant plaid pants, are Stephen Patterson as the other traveller, and Karen Coughlin as the loveable lass with the willin’ ways. The two provide much humour as in Coughlin’s funny refrain The Love Of My Life. Their joyfully comedic performances add a touch of earthiness to life at Brigadoon.
The betrothed couple are Matt Wagman and Rachel Crowther as Charlie Dalrymple and Jean MacLaren. They are the salt of the earth and their I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean and the Bobbie Jean Ballet are sweet and touching to hear and see.
Bad hat and thwarted threat to that couple and to Brigadoon itself is performed with dramatic darkness by Chad McFadden. Victor Roberts, as his father, gives a moving performance in reaction.
Lee MacDougall is the resident sage and as Mr. Lundie plays the part with conviction and dignity. He is memorable from many Drayton performances such as The Foursome and The Odd Couple.
Brian McKay makes a wonderful transition from actor to director in this production. He is famous on the Drayton Entertainment scene, to name one, as a part of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a show so successful it went -on to include a 22-week North American tour. He works his magic here again in this new capacity, bringing the best forward.
Gino Berti has done wonders with choreography. One particularly enthralling example is the Sword Dance and Reel scene performed flawlessly and with pride.
The orchestra though small, makes a big impression. Music Director Steve Thomas leads, and includes two bagpipers. The audiences’ wishes are answered when one of them appears onstage in full regalia as the mournfully touching Funeral Song pulls on heartstrings.
A talented ensemble cast with a children’s chorus to boot add even further delight to the show.
Set and costume designer Allan Wilbee has created a beautiful painted set to reflect the Scottish hills with a touch of magic. The Scottish and villagers’ period costumes are gorgeous and enough to make one wish they were in fashion today.
Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe and premiering on Broadway in 1947, this whimsical musical has been charming audiences the world over ever since.
Now there is all the more reason to revere all things Scottish.
Brigadoon plays eight shows a week through Oct. 10. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Drayton Festival Theatre Box Office at 519-638-5555 or toll free at 1-888-449-4463. For more information visit draytonfestivaltheatre.com.