By Tanaya Ropp
Forever Plaid at Washington Terrace’s Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse is a musical revue about an up and coming musical group of four young men whose lives come to a sudden end on February 9th, 1964 as they are on their way to their biggest gig. The musical then jumps to today and the Plaids get to have one last performance, even though they’re dead, and we get to be a part of it. There is a lot of music with story and history about their past mixed in. It is a simply straightforward musical that is simple straightforward fun.
Forever Plaid is a well-known play that appears almost every year at one theater or another. The cast for Forever Plaid is small with only four leading parts. Frankie (Brady Cash) with his perfect 1950s voice and his inhaler is the clear leader in the group. Smudge (Derek Putman) appears calm but has tummy trouble and finds ways to calm his stomach throughout the show. Sparky (Devin Cash) a spunky character and is always on the move. And Jinx (Andy Colin) whose insecure, nervous character crops up throughout the whole show.
I was very impressed with the way each of these actors was able to keep his character quirks clear all the way thought the show; even in their polished pieces you could still see them. This kind of detail shows how much attention the director W. Derek Hendricks and the assistant director Breanne Hendricks give to these characters to help them come alive. They keep the stage and set simple to keep things focused on the actors and their story. D D Lynch is wearing several hats as he is the Technical Director, Lighting and Sound Designer, all of which he wears well. The lighting, operated by Terry Warfield and Mark Ellis, helps remind us this is a musical about a group’s performance by using spot lighting and even the house lights as part of the show. Jim Tatton did a great job with keeping the costumes authentic to the period. With barbershop blazers to plaid tartans, the costumes fit the show and characters perfectly. Shane Pearson has his hands full as the Musical Director with nearly 20(!) songs performed the show. Even though the harmonies could be tighter in a couple places, this did not distract us from having a good time. Remember, they haven’t sung in 54 years.
I would love to give a shout out to the choreographer but one is not listed in the program. The choreography starts out with the typical barbershop style of hand gestures – clean but effective – but as the show progresses it becomes larger and uses more of the stage until it is all being used. “Crazy ‘bout Ya Baby” was a show stopping number where they use an unconventional prop instead of a microphone stage (I don’t want to spoil the surprise and suck the life out of the moment). Another favorite is “Lady of Spain.” I do not know how they keep a straight face as they reenact the Ed Sullivan show in three minutes. My husband and I couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home.
My husband and I had an enjoyable time at Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse Saturday night. The theater has plenty of parking, and a spacious lobby. I also have to mention the restroom—it’s large with plenty of stalls. No reason to skip out early before intermission.
Forever Plaid is a feel-good show you can feel good about bringing everyone you know. It’s fast-moving, fun for the whole family, and will have you humming the tunes for long after. These actors and the musical Forever Plaid deserve a packed house. What a wonderfully fun way to spend an evening with laughter and music.
Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse presents Forever Plaid by Stuart Ross
Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 S., Washington Terrace, UT 84405
December 30- February 10 Monday, Friday, Saturday 7:30 PM
Tickets: $9.00 – $17.00
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