Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Brigadoon"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


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entire contents copyright 1997 by Beverly Creasey

Ethereal
"Brigadoon"
at Reagle


Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

The Reagle Players have opened their summer season with a magical production of Lerner and Loewe's "Brigadoon" --- about that tiny Scottish village which comes to life every hundred years. Miracles are the lifeblood of "Brigadoon" ... a place where love and faith can alter nature ..where "if you believe in something enough, anything is possible."

Director Bob Eagle himself does the impossible:he has created a charming, ethereal production which truly does justice to Lerner and Loewe's vision. Reagle has joined forces, you see, with The Boston Ballet for some breathtaking dance sequences. Gemze DeLappe recreates Agnes DeMille's original choreography --- and that serves to remind us how integral DeMille's ballet is to the story of two disillusioned Americans caught in a gentle Celtic time warp.

James Gardner is the dashing New Yorker who falls for the 18th century highland lass, played to romantic perfection by Elizabeth Walsh. Who wouldn't fall in love with her? She's a feisty, courageous Scottish beauty with the voice of an angel. And what lovely music there is in "Brigadoon" for her to sing. She and her 20th century beau get together for "It's Almost Like Being In Love" and "The Heather on The Hill". And the golden-throated Nathan Croner as the village bridegroom gets to deliver the heavenly ballad "Bonnie Jean" and the exquisite love song "Come to Me, Bend to Me".

Delicious comic relief is provided by A. J. Sullivan and Beth Martin as the other American lad and the rambunctious lassie who sets her cap for him. Majestic dancing is provided by Tekla Kostek and William Ward as the young bride and her rejected suitor. Ward manages to make the role of the hapless villain heroically tragic. His sword dance becomes the centerpiece for the danger facing the townsfolk and when he comes to grief, a moving ballet expresses the pain of loss.

Special mention as well to Jeffrey P. Leonard and Julia Liu for their faultless music direction. Kudos to the horn section and to bagpiper Brian Quirk, to Michael Quinn as the sage schoolmaster, to David Wilson for his "fine, soft" lighting, and especially to the Reagle chorus (under Dorothy DiDomenico's direction), and to the dancers who make this "Brigadoon" as stirring and otherworldly as any "Giselle".

"Brigadoon" (till 28 June)
THE REAGLE PLAYERS
617 Lexington Street, WALTHAM
1(617)891-5600

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