Review: FOREVER PLAID at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg

On stage through May 5th.

By: Apr. 21, 2024
Review: FOREVER PLAID at Little Theatre Of Mechanicsburg
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Stuart Ross’s musical revue Forever Plaid premiered in 1989. Forever Plaid pays homage to the four-part harmony guy groups that reached the peak of popularity in the 1950s. In Forever Plaid the audience meets The Plaids, a group of four guys who met in the high school Audio Visual Club and discovered that they loved to sing and entertain. They dreamed of making it big but were killed in a car accident on their way to pick up their plaid tuxedos ahead of a big gig. Due to a special confluence of events, they are given one last chance to play the show they never got to play in life. Forever Plaid is a high-energy, clever show filled with songs to take audiences on a nostalgic ride. Forever Plaid is presented by Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg under the direction of Bobby Zaccano with assistant director Vincent Dangolovich and music director Cheryl Crider through May 5th.

 The lighting by Bob McCleary, costumes by Mandi Hurley, choreography by Dena McKell, and props are well-designed to bring the 1950s to life. Keyboardist Bob Reisch keeps the story moving, and brief cameo appearances by Bobby Zaccano and Vincent Dangolovich add to the humor of the production. The cast features Alex E. Wright as Sparky, Matthew Wilson Martin as Jinx, Charles Miller as Smudge, and Ted Peszynski as Frankie. The actors have wonderful interactions with one another and with the audience, and their comedy chops are highlighted well as their characters struggle to figure out what is happening, try to remember their moves and words post-death, and express their bafflement over modern technology like cordless microphones.

Each of the actors have good voices and there are moments of truly nice harmonies and solo work. Unfortunately, for those who are hoping to hear the beautiful, tight harmonies of groups like The Four Lads and The Four Freshman singing well-known songs of the 50s, the show is disappointing due to some major pitch problems that even impacted the melody line at times. This reviewer hopes that some of the issues can be chalked up to opening weekend nerves, and that as the production continues each performance will improve. Audiences likely will enjoy Charles Miller’s rendition of “Sixteen Tons” (even though it’s lacking the real low bass notes) and Matthew Wilson Martin’s “Lady of Spain”. The “Banana Boat/Matilda Matilda” song is a lot of fun, and one of the most enjoyable songs of the evening. In spite of the issues with the music, the actors bring a lot of energy to the stage and passion to their singing, and their ability to tell the story of The Plaids through well-developed characters is delightful.

For additional information on Forever Plaid and to get your tickets to support local theatre, visit


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