Goodspeed Reviews

New Britain Herald
by Judith Brown

April 25, 2001

BRIGADOON revival an enchanting fantasy at Goodspeed Opera House"

“Two of Lerner and Loewe’s loveliest songs almost stop the show as sung with ringing beauty by Daniel Reichard, whose ‘Come to Me, Bend to Me’ is exquisitely and tenderly sung, while his I'll Go Home with Bonnie jean’ is merrily presented. As Tommy, James Clow does a happy turn with ‘Almost Like Being in Love.’ Fiona is spunkily portrayed by Amanda Serkasevich, with a fine, clear singing voice.

“Much humor is added by Tommy’s cynical friend Jeff, played with insouciance by David            Rossmer, while Lisa Brescia is bouncy and pert as the eager female after Jeff.  Choreographed by Peggy  Hickey, the dancing is energetic, lively and full of boisterous elements.

“So, give yourself over to fantasy and to an enticing story and music. This effective production of BRIGADOON can provide a relaxing and happy experience.” 

Manchester Journal Inquirer
by Ellen R. Delisio

April 30, 2001

BRIGADOON a masterful production at Goodspeed"

“You don’t have to buy into the fantastic premise of BRIGADOON to enjoy the musical, and the
Goodspeed Opera House production has much about it to enjoy.

"The cast does an exceptional job performing the energetic song and dance numbers that light up the stage and include intricate choreography. All of the principals are strong as well, bringing a range of talents to their parts.

“As the courting couple, James Clow and Amanda Serkasevich are wonderful. Their duet, ‘It’s
Almost Like Being in Love,’ is one of the highlights of the first act. Another outstanding musical number, ‘Come to Me, Bend to Me,’ is well-performed by Daniel Reichard as Charlie Dalrymple, and accompanied by an elegant, dreamy dance number featuring Jean (Nili Bassman) and the other women.

"BRIGADOON is all about searching for paradise and trusting your heart when you find it; the
perfomance at Goodspeed Opera House recounts the journey well.”

Providence Journal Bulletin
by William K. Gale

May 8, 2001

BRIGADOON, the musical, is the place to be"

“When BRIGADOON opened on Broadway in 1947, its romantic story of a Scottish village lost
in the folds of time and a lovely score made it a hit.

"Today, in a splendid revival at the Goodspeed Opera House, BRIGADOON seems, well, still a
warm and fuzzy tale. And you can hear many a score worse than the one devised a  half-century ago by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe, who went on to My Fair Lady, Camelot and other shows.

“The work includes one handsome guy, one beautiful gal, one jokey guy, one jokey gal, and, of course, a dream ballet, that great Broadway innovation of the 1940s. In other other words, BRIGADOON is of its time, and at Goodspeed, they’ve made a virtue of that.

"Greg Ganakas directs with straight-forward zeal. On Goodspeed’s tiny stage, choreographer
Peggy Hickey has arranged some fine dancing, performed with controlled enthusiasm by a           highly professional supporting cast, one that makes this show a sweet treat, well worth the trip to
East Haddam, Conn. ”

New London Day
by Kristina Dorsey

May 4, 2001

“A Musical With Eloquence In Silence"

“Thwarted love is the stuff of great musicals. There’s nothing quite like romantic angst to            inspire characters to sing swooning ballads, and some starry-eyed ardor to propel them to
soaring, joyous songs.

BRIGADOON ups the romantic ante. The lovers are not separated by other people or            societal rules. Their wee problem is that one of them lives in a Scottish village that appears           for only one day every 100 years. That can really put a crimp in your dating schedule.

James Clow and Amanda Serkasevich make playful couple, teasing and affectionate. They
both exude a down-to-earth charm, and they sing with passion.

"Peggy Hickey’s dances, infused with some Scottish folk flavor, create a romantic vibrancy
often more powerful than even the BRIGADOON score. Director Greg Ganakas creates a vivid
whole that moves forward with energetic grace.

“The imagery on the Goodspeed stage is stunning. Figures standing atop a craggy rock            formation are silhouetted against a moody pink-and-blue sky. Diaphanous tree trunks are
inscribed with Celtic symbols. In some ways, the Goodspeed production - with its sterling            direction, choreography and performances - is more striking than the piece itself. ” 

Danbury News Times
by Chesley Plemmons

Sunday, April 29, 2001

BRIGADOON charms again at Goodspeed Musicals"

"BRIGADOON is more than just songs, though it boasts one of the richest scores in musical comedy. It’s a beguiling temptation to believe in miracles - miracles brought about by honesty and love. That’s what the world needs now, so thank Goodspeed for letting it bloom again and for appointing the able Greg Ganakas as director.

“The Goodspeed production is filled with splendid vocal performances.  James Clow is            impressive as tommy, singing strongly and exuding an appealing boyish charm. As the about-to-be-married Jean and Charles, Nili Bassman and Daniel Reichard are a sun-drenched
couple singing with charm. His tenor voice is perfection. “The songs. Ah, the songs. 'Come to Me, Bend to Me,’ 'Almost Like Being in Love,’ 'I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean,’ 'The Heather on the Hill’ and the title song are a sampling of the riches of Lerner and Loewe’s wonderful score. ”

Meriden Record-Journal
by Phyllis S. Donovan

Sunday, April 29, 2001


“The magical, mystical village of Brigadoon materializes from the Scottish mists to transport
audiences back 200 years as the Goodspeed Opera House opens its season with Lerner and
Loewe’s romantic musical classic.

“Director Greg Ganakas spins his own miracles utilizing every inch of the small Goodspeed
stage and maintaining the spirit and momentum of the timeless piece as choreographer Peggy Hickey recreates the swirling, leaping original dances of Agnes de Mille.

“Tall, boyishly handsome James Clow as Tommy sings with baritone gusto. Amanda            Serkasevich brings a pert elegance to the headstrong Fiona, raising her sweet soprano in the
yearning ‘Waiting For My Dearie.’ Daniel Reichard as Charlie Dalrymple releases his soaring
tenor in the lively ‘I’ll GoHome With Bonnie Jean,’ and Nili Bassman as his darlin’ bride Jean,
dances like a fairy sprite. Lisa Brescia adds a welcome touch of bawdy comedy as the man-hungry Meg Brockie.

BRIGADOON has it all - a tender, sentimental love story set in an enchanted otherworld
village filled with the celebrations of life and death and pulsing with memorable songs and
remarkable dances that range from swirling Highland flings to graceful balletic interludes."

New Haven Register
by E. Kyle Minor

April 25, 2001

“Lerner and Loewe’s BRIGADOON is exemplary of what Goodspeed Musicals does best: take a classic that may be a bit dusty or dated and present it as if it were brand-new.

BRIGADOON, is best known for its score. There is, arguably, not a bad song in the show.

BRIGADOON is also blessed with a hopelessly romantic story set in an exotic never-never land in Scotland that only comes to life once every 100 years. Besides culling honest performances from his cast, director Greg Ganakas wisely updates the show, making time-travelers Tommy and Jeff 2001 New Yorkers. If you are unfamiliar with the show, you’d swear it had been written this year. Still, most of the musical is set in Brigadoon 200 years ago. The citizens all dress in John Carver Sullivan’s period-perfect garb. Howard Jones’  scenery, evocatively lit by Kirk Bookman, is a mysterious combination of ancient Celtic icons and Tolkienesque imagery. James Clow is a tall, wholesome Tommy. His winning smile and full baritone are well suited to the role. They are certainly a match for Amanda Serkasevich’s Fiona, with whom he falls in love the minute he enters Brigadoon. Serkasevich has a singing voice as effortless as her acting
skills. ”

The Hartford Courant
by Malcolm Johnson

April 16, 2001

A Magical Production Of BRIGADOON

“‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Camelot’ are the warhorses of the Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe canon. The relative obscurity of the partners’ earlier BRIGADOON only makes the revival at the
Goodspeed Opera House all the more wondrous.

“As directed by Greg Ganakas on rugged, Celtic-flavored settings by Howard Jones, this  Shangri-La love story unfolds as one of Goodspeed’s most magical productions - a rich  exploration of the first Lerner and Loewe hit, which boasts some of the greatest songs they  ever wrote together.

BRIGADOON has everything a musical theater fan could want. And Ganakas weaves it all together with highland flings and folk and art dances by Peggy Hickey.

“Amanda Serkasevich and Nili Bassman match up strikingly as the red-haired MacLaren sisters, the rebellious Fiona and the affianced Jean. Serkasevich sings with a light but pure soprano, pairing with James Clow’s potent baritone on the show’s classics, ‘The Heather on  the Hill’ and ‘Almost Like Being in Love. ’ Bassman sweetly adds her voice to Reichard’s remakable tenor on ‘Come to Me, Bend To Me’and dances a poignantly expressive bride-to-be solo. But it is Reichard’s ‘I’ll Go Home to Bonnie Jean’ that transports us to musical theater heaven. ”