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.
Larry Raben (Director) returns to Cabrillo after previously directing Singin' In The Rain, for which he won the LA Ovation Award for Best Direction, and Forever Plaid. He most recently directed the World Premiere of When You Wish-The Story Of Walt Disney (The Freud Theatre), Sunset Blvd. (Musical Theatre West), and Tru (Coyote StageWorks Desert Star Award Winner). He directed the World Premiere of Tony-Winner Joe DiPietro's Falling For Eve, Off-Broadway (The York Theatre). He has directed a slew of new musicals of late: Nuttin' But Hutton (NoHo Arts), Love Makes The World Go Round (Phoenix Theatre), and readings of The First Gentleman. He authored and directed Rodger & Hart & Hammerstein for Reprise! Other favorites: Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, Never Gonna Dance, The Thing About Men, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Legs Diamond and Sugar, the "Some Like It Hot" musical (all at MTW), Plaid Tidings (Walnut Street Theatre), Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas (Coyote StageWorks-Desert Star Awards Best Direction for both), Bark! (Inland Empire Award Best Direction), The Producers and Sunset Blvd. (Gateway Playhouse), Sweet Charity in Buenos Aires (Best director Ace nominee), Always Patsy Cline (Welk), and The Velveteen Rabbit (Promenade Theatre New York). He was the Assistant Director on the original NY production of Forever Plaid, and has directed numerous regional and international stagings. He can also be seen in the film version of the show playing "Sparky". He directed and co-authored Hollywood's Heyday (Welk) and More Magic (Canadian Tour). Larry has appeared on the Cabrillo stage as "Leo Bloom" in The Producers, and "Patrick" in The Andrews Brothers. Larry is a very proud, recently published children's book author of Ibby Makes A Wish, which is available at amazon.com.
ALBY POTTS (Musical Director) of Woodland Hills, is a versatile composer and pianist who works in many musical genres including musical theater, chamber music, film scoring, and recording. Alby's credits include his #1 charting album, "Dreaming For Real", feature film scores including "Season of Change", and "Frozen In Fear", and commercials, television, and multimedia projects. Alby's original ballets, Flying Fireworks and A Christmas Jewel, are in the repertory of the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater, and he has composed many works for classical concert artists. Also a music director, Alby has conducted over 80 shows on both coasts and in Chicago, where he was nominated twice for the Jeff Award for outstanding musical direction. Alby has a Bachelors degree in Music Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music, and a Masters of Music from Northwestern University.
ABOUT THE CAST:
Roger Befeler (Frankie) starred as the "Beast" in the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast, and was featured in the National Tours of Les Miserables, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Los Angeles area productions include: Sweeny Todd, Swing!, Forever Plaid, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Into The Woods, Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance, Aspects of Love, Girl Crazy, and Shenandoah, plus concerts at The Hollywood Bowl and The Walt Disney Concert Hall. Scott Dreier (Smudge) is thrilled to be back at Cabrillo as "Smudge" in Forever Plaid, a role he has played many times including the San Diego Company. Tour/Regional includes: "Seymour" in The Little Shop of Horrors (10 productions), "The Baker" in Into the Woods, "Bud Frump" in How to Succeed, "Scarecrow" in The Wizard of Oz (Cabrillo), "Cornelius" in Hello Dolly, "JP Who" in How the Grinch Stole... (Old Globe Theater-4 years), and Side by Side by Sondheim (Desert Star Award-Best Male Lead). TV: "Harold the Herald" on "The Suite Life on Deck", "ICarly", "General Hospital", and "The First Family". He was "Knuckles the Echidna" Sonic (for Sega), as a voiceover artist. As a recording artist, Scott's self-titled debut solo album was selected onto the preliminary Grammy Awards ballot. He has been a soloist for Pasadena Pops and sang back up for Barbra Streisand in two of her LA concerts. Scott is most proud of the one-man show he created Doris and Me, a celebration of the life, music, and career (and his quirky obsession) of icon Doris Day. He is at work on his second album, "The Music of Doris Day".
JEFFREY Scott Parsons (Sparky) always considers it an honor to don the plaid and put on a retainer, especially when it's at the beautiful Kavli Theatre. He has played "Sparky" in various productions of Forever Plaid and Plaid Tidings across the southwest. Cabrillo Music Theatre audiences will remember him as "Linus" in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, "Billy Lawlor" in 42nd Street, "Gideon" in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and from the Holiday Spectacular starring Shirley Jones. Other favorite credits include "Dick" in Dames at Sea (Colony), "Phil" in White Christmas (SDMT), and "Billy Crocker" in Anything Goes (Moonlight.) He's a member of Musical Theatre Guild and Actors Equity, and holds a BFA from Brigham Young University. Kurtis Simmons (Jinx) is thrilled to be making his Cabrillo debut playing "Jinx". National tours and regional credits include: Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma! for Branson Broadway Musicals, Legally Blonde "Warner", Joseph . . . Dreamcoat "Joseph", Children of Eden "Father", Into The Woods "Jack, Rapunzel's Prince", You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown "Charlie Brown", Forever Plaid "Jinx", Godspell "Jesus", The Pajama Game "Sid", The Gifts of the Magi "Willy Porter", A Chorus Line "Greg", Little Shop of Horrors "Orin", Oleanna "John", Cabaret "Max", West Side Story "Tony", The King and I "Lun Tha", She Loves Me "Georg u/s", My One and Only, Meet Me In St Louis, Rodgers and Hart: A Celebration, and Mermaids the Musical. Under the direction of John Debney, Kurtis sang the US Premiere of Debney's The Passion Symphony. Film: "The Key". Kurtis has music directed many productions including Legally Blonde, Charlie Brown, and Children of Eden. As a studio artist, Kurtis has been heard on many recording projects, and as a singer/songwriter solo artist, he released his first full length album in 2013, "Fraction of a Thread" available on iTunes & Amazon. ABOUT THE PRICING AND SCHEDULE FOREVER PLAID will open on Friday, January 31st, 2014, and run through Sunday, February 9th. Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, February 1st, 2:00pm performance. A signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing will take place on the Friday, February 7th performance.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, or through any Ticketmaster location, or by phone (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613. Ticket prices range from $30-$65. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).
Cabrillo Music Theatre is the Ovation Award-winning Resident Musical Theatre Production Company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and a non-profit theatre organization. For over three decades, Cabrillo has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre. It is Cabrillo's mission to provide the highest quality musical experience, to foster educational opportunities, and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California.