BWW Feature: Highlights From the '30th Plaidiversary of FOREVER PLAID'
It's been thirty years since Forever Plaid opened at the West Bank Cafe and in three decades the show has been produced all over the world, and the actors who have played The Plaids have an indelible bond. They are, as the title predicted, forever Plaids, and on May 20th the gentlemen of Forever Plaid reunited via ZOOM as fans far and wide watched. The reunion, broadcast by Musical Theatre West, included creator/author/choreographer Stuart Ross and original company members Stan Chandler, David Engel, Jason Graae, Guy Stroman, and Larry Raben, featuring the "Voice of God" announcers David Hyde Pierce and Fred Willard. The 90-minute"Plaidiversary" was dedicated to the memory of Musical Arranger James Raitt (1953 - 1994) and featured stories and reminiscences of people like Victor Borge, Betty White, Paul Newman, Kathleen Turner, Charles Durning, and Michael Winther. The show also included a mention of a very special couple who, it turns out, are Forever Plaid superfans.
Steve and Rosalie Aronson have seen Forever Plaid 50 times. Mr. Aronson, a folk DJ, has a close friend in the folk music field named Christine Lavin who is, herself, a superfan with 6 viewings of Forever Plaid on her resume. A few years back Ms. Lavin took the Aronsons to see the Plaid-a-Palooza Show at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, featuring 12 to 16 different Plaids (says Lavin: "It was thrilling to hear so many voices on those songs"). Eventually the Aronsons came to the attention of The Plaids and, during the reunion show, creator Stuart Ross made mention of the couple. Thinking this might happen, Ms. Lavin (a filmmaker) intended to capture the moment for the Aronsons, and what she ended up with was a film of the entire program.
It's just like Christine Lavin to think of all the other Plaid fans out there who may not have had a chance to see the evening because she edited down the film to highlights reel which she has shared with Broadway World so that the world at large can revel in a special moment in the history of live entertainment, but even more specifically, she did the video as a gift to the man who brought Forever Plaid into all our lives. "I'm a long-time fan of the show and did this as a gift to Stuart."
On behalf of Broadway World Cabaret and all the fans, Thank you, Christine.