Cortland Rep Wraps Up 2009 Season With FOREVER PLAID 8/19-9/4
For their final summer production, Cortland Repertory Theatre revisits one of Central New York's favorite musicals "Forever Plaid", with three weeks of performances from August 19 - September 4. This hilarious family-friendly musical with vocal arrangements by James Raitt and a book by Stuart Ross began in a small Off-Broadway cabaret in 1990 and has grown over the years to become a huge international hit.
This critically acclaimed show is an affectionate revue of the close-harmony, clean cut "guy groups" (such as The Four Aces and The Four Freshmen) that reached the height of their popularity during the 1950s. Just as the Beatles "invasion" of America ended the popularity of such groups, this fictional quartet's dreams of recording an album ended (literally and symbolically) in a collision with a bus filled with Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles' American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The play begins with the Plaids returning from the afterlife for one final chance at musical glory. Some of the songs in this charming tuner include "Three Coins in the Fountain"; "Heart and Soul"; "Lady of Spain"; "Scotland the Brave"; "Rags to Riches"; and "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing".
"CRT last produced this show in 1995," Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson says. "And we felt that it was long overdue for a revival! In fact, I've heard from many people who came to see the show as kids with their parents who are now coming back to see it as an adult. It's a charming and fun finale to our 2009 summer season." Directing and choreographing the show is Bert Bernardi, who is best known at CRT for taking the helm of some of their most successful shows, including "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Over the River and Through the Woods" and last summer's hit "Johnny Guitar". "The show is a perfect fit for Bert because he's got terrific knack for this kind of material." Thompson says. "It's a perfect balance of charm, humor and great music."
The actors playing the four Plaids are primarily new faces to the CRT stage. Dean Maroulakos plays Frankie, the leader and caretaker of the group, who always makes sure everyone knows where they're supposed to be and what happens next. The clown of the group, Sparky, is played by returning actor Andrew Kenneth Moss, who was last seen at CRT as Duke in "The Great American Trailer Park Musical". Jinx, Sparky's half-brother and the shy tenor singer who occasionally gets a nose bleed when he sings above an A is played by Christopher Timson. Finally, Christopher Lukos plays Smudge, the bass of the group, and the dyslexic worrier who has a tough time telling his left foot from his right.
Musical Director Dave Hahn is in his third show this summer at CRT, having worked on "Once on This Island" and "Damn Yankees" as well as previously on "Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver". Joining Hahn as the only other musician is Shannon Cockbill on bass. Assistant to CRT's Producing Director and frequent show director Jim Bumgardner serves as scenic designer for this show, with costumes designed by Jimmy Johnsmeyer, who has designed a total of 18 shows over five years at CRT. Lighting is handled by Kate Furst, sound by season designer Dave Huber and properties by season designer Justin Peters. Stage manager is Kris Valentine, with assistance from Eric Behnke.
"Forever Plaid" will be presented at the Edward Jones Playhouse, CRT's home in Dwyer Memorial Park from August 19th - September 4th. Season Benefactor McNeil and Company is joined for this production by show sponsor Michael May Construction, show underwriter Sherman-Williams and show partners Economy Paving and Graphics Plus Printing. Parking is free, and the theatre is handicapped accessible and air conditioned. Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased at the CRT Box Office at 37 Franklin Street in Cortland, by calling 800-427-6160 or online at www.cortlandrep.org.
For more information about any of CRT's shows or programming, please visit www.cortlandrep.org.