November 22, 2014
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Theatre Review
Nostalgic musical treat at Theatre By The Sea
Don Fowler
Photo by Mark Turek
From left: Max Pallman, Mike Backes, Adolpho Blaire and Jeffrey Scott Stevens star as "The Plaids" in the deliciously goofy musical comedy “Forever Plaid,” being presented at Theatre By The Sea through June 17. For tickets call 782-TKTS (8587) or visit www.theatrebythesea.com.

It’s nostalgic.

It’s funny.

It’s corny.

And it’s entertaining.

It’s “Forever Plaid.”

What more could you ask for on your first summer theatre trip to Matunuck for the barn theatre’s 79th season.

“Forever Plaid” started as a one-person show, grew to a cabaret act, and ended as a full stage production with four actor/singers, a pianist and bass player, 29 songs from the ’50s and a hilarious takeoff on the old “Ed Sullivan Show.”

The simple story has four young singers whose lives are cut short in a car accident on the way to their first big gig, returning to Earth one day to perform the show they never had a chance to do.

This is my third time seeing the show, which I love mostly for the music that I grew up with. The evolution to a full out production adds pizzazz but sometimes takes away from those old great songs, as the Plaids get a bit out of control at times. (The press release calls it “overzealous” and “outlandish.” I agree.)

Great songs like the opening “Three Coins in the Fountain” and closing “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” are perfect for the “boy bands” of the ’50s. Add the classic rock hits “Sh-Boom” and Crazy ‘Bout Ya Baby,” a touch of Calypso with “Jamaica Farewell” and “Matilda,” with some audience participation, and Perry Como standards like “Catch a Falling Star” and you’ve got enough nostalgia to carry you through 2012. The patter between the songs is light and funny and puts the slim plot in perspective.

The guys make it a very high-energy performance, which the audience seemed to love. Tone it down just a bit, and I love it, too.

“Forever Plaid” is at Theatre-By-The Sea through June 17. Tickets range from $39-$54. Call 782-8587 for reservations.


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