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Forever Plaid' mixes musical greats with lighthearted comedy



When The Plaids, a small-time singing quartet from the Fifties, headed out to give their first concert, they had no inkling their unfulfilled legacy would be obliterated by a school bus filled with Catholic girls, killing the music group.

Through some sort of celestial magic, however, the four guys find themselves delivered to a modern stage "? in this case, the Jewel Box Theatre "? to finally have the opportunity to perform that show.

Director Billie Thrash has cast four winners with a creamy sound who don't look cool enough, yet play with such heart. You can't help but root for Lance Overdorff. When he lets loose with Johnny Ray's "Cry," the transformative powers of performance lift him off the stage.

Slade Burgess as Smudge also gives us a sweetly awkward boy who morphs into Mr. Smooth when he croons. As Sparky, Christopher Curtis exudes such little-boy enthusiasm, it's stunning to hear his velvety pipes on "Catch a Falling Star."

Nick Gelona, diminutive and absolutely charming, not only sings beautifully, but gives you a lump in your throat in an end-of-the-show monologue.

Thrash fills the stage with wonderfully corny choreography and detailed, Motown-like handplay. The band sounds great and adds a nice dash of humor to the evening.

Costumes by Charlotte Rose are refreshingly understated, with a darker plaid palette, and the setting and props look appropriately funky and homemade. "?Linda McDonald


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