Cabrillo Music Theatre Stages FOREVER PLAID, Now thru 2/9
Those heavenly voices are back! And they're better than ever! Cabrillo Music Theatre celebrates its 20th Anniversary Season by blending one of the original Plaids with four of musical theatre's top talents to create the definitive FOREVER PLAID especially for the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza! The fresh and funny FOREVER PLAID opens tonight, January 31st, 2014, playing until Sunday, February 9th, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.
FOREVER PLAID is an enchanting musical entertainment that will cure all ailments, real or imagined. Once upon a time, there were four guys (Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie) who loved to sing. They rehearsed in the basement of Smudge's family's plumbing supply company. It was here they became "Forever Plaid." Although rock 'n' roll was racing down the fast lane like a candy apple "vette", they believed in their music. They devoted themselves to singing at nights and on weekends. Then, finally, they landed their first big gig at the Airport Hilton cocktail bar - The Fusel Lounge. On February 9th, 1964, en route to pick up their custom-made plaid tuxedos, they were slammed broadside by a school bus filled with eager Catholic teens. The teens were on their way to witness the Beatles make their U.S. television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show and miraculously escaped uninjured. The members of Forever Plaid were killed instantly. Through the Power of Harmony and the Expanding Holes in the Ozone Layer, in conjunction with the positions of the planets and all the astrotechincal stuff, they are allowed to come back to perform the show they never got to do in life.
Singing in the angelic, soft harmonies of the Four Freshmen, The Plaids essay a series of late '50's and '60's hits, from "Three Coins in the Fountain" to "Love is a Many Splendored Thing." They bring back the days when white cover groups possessing no soul at all would try to ape the encroaching sound of R&B, and other ethnic styles into pop. Their takes on ersatz R&B (a medley of "16 Tons" and "Chain Gang") and the kind of island music popularized by Harry Belafonte ("The Plaids Go Calypso!") are hilarious!
Cabrillo's all-new FOREVER PLAID shines with a cast of Southern California's finest performers, including Roger Befeler (National tours of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, LES MISERABLES, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA), Scott Dreier ("Scarecrow" in Cabrillo's THE WIZARD OF OZ), Jeffrey Scott Parsons (Cabrillo's YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, 42ND STREET, SEVEN BRIDES, and others) and Kurtis Simmons (Regional star of LEGALLY BLONDE, JOSEPH, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and more). All are experienced in the world of PLAID, and their combined talents make Cabrillo's FOREVER PLAID one for the ages.
Bringing Cabrillo's FOREVER PLAID to zany directorial life is original "Plaid," Larry Raben, returning winning an Ovation Award for Best Direction for Cabrillo's SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, and who can also be seen in the film version of FOREVER PLAID as "Sparky"! Alby Potts, also a Cabrillo Ovation Award-winner, returns as Musical Director. Overseeing the production are Kevin Traxler and Cabrillo's Artistic Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld.
"I'm so excited to bring the Plaids to Cabrillo's stage for our 20th Anniversary Season," says Wilkenfeld. "With the comedy and expertise of Director Larry Raben, and a hand-picked cast, Cabrillo's FOREVER PLAID will be Southern California's definitive production! This is the one to see!"
With timeless melodies that we remember forever...with comedy, wit, and a touch of heart... Cabrillo Music Theatre's FOREVER PLAID is a charmer for all generations! Continue celebrating Cabrillo's 20th Anniversary Season with this blast from the past, and dance holes in your soles with Cabrillo Music Theatre's all-new FOREVER PLAID at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza!
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
Stuart Ross (Writer and Original Director) staged the premiere of The Boswell Sisters, a new musical, which he co-rote with Mark Hampton at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference for the National Music Theatre. Prior to this, he directed his new play Tea With Bea, at Chicago's Royal George Theatre and Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre. He directed three productions for HBO's "New Writers Project". Also this season, he won Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director of a Musical. Stuart wrote and directed the musical phenomenon Forever Plaid. He directed the original New York production, as well as subsequent productions across the United States, Japan, Canada, and on London's West End. On Broadway, he co-authored the Tony nominated musical Starmites, and the acclaimed Radio City Music Hall Easter Show. Off-Broadway he wrote Fun With Dick and Jane (workshop Playwrights Horizons), The Heebie Jeebies: The Musical, and The Not-So-New Faces. As a director, his work includes Breaking Up, Nasty Little Secrets, Conrack, Creeps, The Lunch Girls, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, among others. For six seasons Mr. Ross has been a director and dramturg for The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference.