Stage & Screen

Theatre Review - Brigadoon

Theatre Review - Brigadoon

Photo Credits:  Above the Cast of Brigadoon, Photo by David Cooper

Slider: Matt Nethersole as Charlie Dalrymple and Madelyn Kriese as Jean MacLaren in Brigadoon. Photo by David Cooper.


My very first theatre experience happened when I was 11 years old, a friend of my parents took me to see the play Brigadoon. It was put on by the Brantford Drama League in my hometown and I was absolutely fascinated watching the story unfold live and on stage instead of in a movie theatre or on tv. When I heard The Shaw Festival was adding Brigadoon to their roster this year I was anxious to see their take on it and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Brigadoon has all the ingredients of a first class musical; dancing, singing, a live orchestra and lavish and interesting sets that recreate a village in a mid 18th century Scotland. The book and the lyrics were written by Alan Jay Lerner, and the music was written by Frederick Loewes. Brigadoon features the popular song “Almost Like Being In Love " amongst others that eventually became standards on American musical play lists.

The story involves two American tourists who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years. Tommy Albright (George Krissa) and Jeff Douglas (Mike Nadajewski) have travelled to Scotland on a hunting vacation, but unfortunately they get lost. When they hear music off in the distance they are puzzled as there is no town or village on the map. They head over toward the music to get directions back to their inn and find a fair in progress. It doesn’t phase them that the villagers are all dressed in traditional Scottish kilts and tartans.

Andrew MacLaren’s (Peter Millard – lovely to see him still on the Shaw stage) daughter Jean (Madelyn Kriese) is getting married and her and her sisters have arrived at the fair to purchase supplies for her wedding to Charlie Dalrymple (Matt Nethersole). Harry Beaton (Travis Seetoo), son of Archie Beaton (Michael Therriault), is madly in love with Jean and is depressed at the thought of her marrying another man. Maggie Anderson (Genny Sermonia) is crazy about Harry, however he can’t see anyone but Jean.

As the story progresses the two strangers arrive and Jean’s older sister Fiona (Alexis Gordan) takes Tommy on trek to the fields to pick heather for the wedding. Their chemistry is instantaneous and soon the two are falling in love. Being in love with a woman who only appears for a day every 100 years causes a huge dilemma for Tommy and he is torn wanting to stay in Brigadoon or return to his fiancé in New York who he is not that crazy about.

The wedding scene is so well done, audiences will love the Scottish sword dancing and the highland fling done in varying degrees by the cast and choreographed by Agnes DeMille. The clever use of the background features row housing with windows and doors opening and closing and even smoke rolling out of the chimneys. Director Glynis Leyshon has simply put it all together to deliver a great stage play that shouldn’t be missed.

If you are a fan of musicals, you will love Brigadoon, and if you’re being dragged by your friends, you will still love the humour and magical premise of the play. I’m giving Brigadoon 5 out of 5 stars.

There is lots of time to see Brigadoon, but don’t wait, performances are being held til October 13th for tickets visit

By Jenifer Cass


Looking for things to do in Niagara? Need Niagara event listings? Searching for Niagara’s best entertainment, music and theatre? Want to search Niagara concert listings? Before you GO out, BE informed. Log onto