Director comments on ‘Forever Plaid’"Forever Plaid,” the ‘50s musical hit by Stuart Ross and James Raitt, will be performed Jan. 14-29 at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
"Forever Plaid,” the ‘50s musical hit by Stuart Ross and James Raitt, will be performed Jan. 14-29 at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
Since the first performance of “Forever Plaid” in New York, the show has been a sensational hit, provoking laughter and tears, sometimes even at the same time. Audiences of all ages have enjoyed the ‘50s and’60s music, wholesome story, outlandish choreography, and constant comedic banter.
According to director Beth Reidenbach, “If our audience has as much fun with this production as we did during the rehearsal process, we know it will be a success.” “Plaid” highlights the wonderful harmonies of the “guy groups” of the 1950s with nostalgic songs such as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” “Sixteen Tons,” and a comic rendition of “Crazy ‘Bout You, Baby.”
Jerry Germain, Tim Junko, Bill Leahy , all of New Richmond, and Mark Schaeffer of Hudson performed this show a number of years ago for the Willow River Players in New Richmond. The show was a sell-out. “These four men have achieved a terrific balance of harmonies and sound that is of professional quality and a pleasure to listen to. Add to that the musical talents of Janet Ellinger (River Falls) on piano, John Hamilton (River Falls) on string bass, and Paul Ashwood (Hudson) on drums, and the arrangements are really top notch. For those of us old enough to remember, the guy groups added choreography to their singing, and Betsy Germain (New Richmond), our choreographer, has captured the feel of the ‘50s with clever dance moves that are sure to get a laugh,” explains the director.
Reidenbach continues her praise of her cast and the show, “From a director’s standpoint, the four characters of the play, Sparky, Frankie, Smudge and Jinx, are as diverse and entertaining as can be. The actors, in addition to having great voices, are challenged to assume the odd characteristics of each respective character. From the group clown to the nervous klutz to the up-tight worry-wart to the diligent leader, the personalities add hilarity to the show. Watching these four singers develop as actors has been a rewarding process. I’m never quite sure what they will have me laughing at next. The playwright, Stuart Ross, created a wonderful blend of music and humor that results in a thoroughly delightful entertainment experience.”
Eight performances will be given Jan. 14-29 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. (best availability), as well as Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. General admission tickets are $23 for adults and $16 for all students, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. For reservations, contact The Phipps ticket office at (715) 386-8409 or online at www.ThePhipps.org.