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Review: FOREVER PLAID at Diamond Head Theatre

Find out what we thought of this show!

Review: FOREVER PLAID at Diamond Head Theatre It feels like it was just last week that I was at Diamond Head Theatre (DHT), experiencing the joyous all-female cast of Shout! and now, I got to experience more joy from DHT, except through an all-male cast in its energetic production of Forever Plaid. As remained the case with Shout!, Forever Plaid was certainly a welcome and impressive addition to the repertoire of amidst-Covid-mounted productions at the Broadway of the Pacific.

As can be expected, the line-up of shows for this current season had to be adjusted in order to accommodate Covid protocols, but that didn't stop Artistic Director John Rampage from still securing an intimate show as a replacement, which has the ability to plaster smiles across the faces of audience members. Suavely directed and choreographed by Andrew Sakaguchi, the story follows a group of four aspiring singers, who meet their demise and has the opportunity to perform in the afterlife the show they weren't able to perform in real life: Frankie (Ryan Michel), Sparky (Will Thomson), Jinx (Tyler Devere), and Smudge (Scott Fiske). Once all wield and embrace their after-life microphones, what ensues is a series of songs from the 1950's---when the show also takes place---including the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Almost entirely sung with a repertoire of 24 songs throughout the 90-minute show, there are bits of monologues that help the audience to better understand the characters. And, while the show could have effectively felt like a concert, the performances, staging, and pacing of it makes it feel like an actual musical. Each actor is perfectly cast and innately inhabits his character, finding the perfect amount of charm, wittiness, and nuance in order to coagulate into a group with such outstanding chemistry. I often found myself bouncing my head side to side and tapping my foot with each passing number, signaling the enjoyment procured from the show, which also is attributed to the fabulous musical direction by Maika`i Nash.

I apologize, as I was unable to get this review out sooner, seeing that this past weekend was its closing, but I certainly hope it brings to light the stellar productions DHT is still able to mount despite the limitations of Covid. Though, in addition to DHT, please---if you feel safe and comfortable to do so---also see what offerings other theatres on island have to offer. Thank you, Plaids, for an enjoyable time at the theatre!


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