"Brigadoon: Don't Miss It!"
By Marilyn McCormick
Lerner and Loew's "Brigadoon" is by far one of their most fun and most interesting works. A good
many of the songs emerged as hits of their time, and, although far from an authentic tale Scotland, it
sure leaves one wishing that things really happened that way. It's the story of a make believe village in
Scotland that only awakens, through a miracle, every one hundred years. Two hunters stumble upon
the village on the right day and provide some excitement and romance for the villagers and
themselves, especially since there's a wedding involved.
The score is bright and beautiful and the voices provided by the Camarillo Airport Theatre Group are
worthy of the wonderful music written by the two geniuses Gilbert & Sullivan, of the music theater.
The two leads, Tommy and Fiona, played by James Harlow and Rhonda Borgwardt have marvelous
musical comedy voices. Characterization is just right and the overall effect is harmonious and
comfortable. I don't know about you, but if I have an uncomfortable feeling about the characters I'm
watching on stage, it spoils the show. Discomfort can come from a lot of sources like singing flat, not
in sync with the music, obviously mismatched physically or just plain inexperienced. James and
Rhonda make me feel comfortable, as did the rest of the cast.
Jeff, played by experienced actor Lloyd Allen is Tommy's companion and the skeptic of the piece.
Lloyd is always fun to watch. He's at ease on stage and gives 100 percent to any role he interprets.
The dance lead, Bonnie Jean was performed by Kelly Johnston who, by the way also directed and
choreographed. Kelly is a professional with, not only an abundance of dance talent, but also
experience in choreography and now directing. To top it off, Kelly has the look of an ingenue and a
firm background in Scottish dancing.
Charlie Dalrymple was played (after the first two weeks) by Bill Clark. Bill has the mark of a good
tenor; he can break your heart with his voice. When he sings the beautiful love song "Come to Me,
Bend to Me", Bill brings tears to your eyes. I'm sure, since he came in two weeks into production, as
the run progresses, Bill will be a little more at ease with staying in character. He seemed just a little
fearful of making the wrong move, at times.
John Frisbee played the malcontent, Harry Beaton forcefully and elicited a certain amount of empathy
from his audience at being trapped in a confining world while watching the girl he loved marry
Penny Puente as the lusty Med Brooke is extremely funny and her voice is great for the role. Since
Meg is a role I have always coveted, I will stop by saying, Penny is great. She also assisted in
direction and with music.
John Masterson as the revered "keeper of the miracle" Mr. Lundie was just right.
The chorus is beautiful and well rehearsed. Art Gibson did a wonderful job with direction. The set
was perfect as was lighting and sound. I am one of those people who are moved by bagpipes, so
seeing and hearing piper, Mike Reynolds, was a special thrill. Mikes daughters Erika, Natalie and
Katie, and Melissa Webster performed beautifully and very professionally as the youngest of the
Scottish dancers. Costumes were especially nice, as everything seemed to fit in with the period. There
was obviously a lot of thought by costume coordinator, Betty Sullivan, given to the show.
Altogether, the producer/director team of Jeff and Kelly Johnston has brought to the community and
Brigadoon will play Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct.14th. For reservations, call
805-388-5716 or 482-2970. Don't miss it.