BWW Review: FOREVER PLAID IS HEAVENLY at Straz Center's Jaeb Theatre

BWW Review: FOREVER PLAID IS HEAVENLY  at Straz Center's Jaeb Theatre

A delightful musical revue set in the era of barbershop quartets, FOREVER PLAID is what happens when the cute nerdy boys from the AV club form a band.

Set in 1964, FOREVER PLAID tells the tale of four childhood friends who after paying their dues performing at grocery story grand openings, weddings and anniversaries, have an opportunity to do a real gig. Unfortunately, the dream is short lived when their car is fatally broadsided by a bus of Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

But fear not, by some twist of fate, they are brought back to Earth to perform. FOREVER PLAID is that concert and we are their audience.

Complete with a bloody nose, asthma attack and adorable awkwardness throughout the production, the humor of the musical is found in the authentic feeling that we are truly watching four self-conscious young men try to remember lyrics, cues, and the moves and routines that accompany the music for their debut concert.

With Bill Cusick on piano and Irving Goldberg on bass, Forever Plaid stars Nicky Endsley as Jinx, Matty Colonna as Sparky, Dick Baker as Frankie, and Joseph Strickland as Smudge.

The men are funny and engaging. Before performing their opening number Three Coins in a Fountain, there's a quiet warning of "it's time to start the show; check your flies."

The quartet's perfected goofiness and appropriate stiffness take a backseat when the first notes waft through the theatre. The voices are absolutely incredible, whether flawlessly blending together or soloing; yet, my favorite part of the show was when the men sang acapella in perfect harmony.

Forever Plaid featured such nostalgic hits as Sixteen Tons, Chain Gang, Fountain, Perfidia, Cry, Catch a Falling Star, Day-O, Gotta Be This or That, among many others.

Nicky displayed additional talent by playing Heart and Soul on the piano with Patty, a woman pulled from the audience. Patty briefly stole the spotlight as she performed a step routine with the men like she was part of the production.

During the production, The Plaids ventured into the audience during the Calypso song Matilda, interacting with us, giving out a few musical instruments to accompany their music. I got to shake the maracas!

They even put a nerdy crooner spin on The Beatles with She Love You, Yessiree.

Though the music of the crooner era and the references to a 3 minute and 11 second version of The Ed Sullivan Show, complete with familiar characters to those who knew the show, are not of my generation, you don't need to be elderly to laugh at the silliness or appreciate the beautiful vocals these four men have.

A magical part in this 90-minute journey was watching senior citizens sing along with The Plaids as their gorgeous voices transported them, momentarily, back to their youth. Very appropriately, FOREVER PLAID was a heavenly night at Jaeb Theatre.

A delightful musical revue set in the era of barbershop quartets, FOREVER PLAID is what happens when the cute nerdy boys from the AV club form a band.

Set in 1964, FOREVER PLAID tells the tale of four childhood friends who after paying their dues performing at grocery story grand openings, weddings and anniversaries, have an opportunity to do a real gig. Unfortunately, the dream is short lived when their car is fatally broadsided by a bus of Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan show.

But fear not, by some twist of fate, they are brought back to Earth to perform. FOREVER PLAID is that concert and we are their audience.

Complete with a bloody nose, asthma attack and adorable awkwardness throughout the production, the humor of the musical is found in the authentic feeling that we are truly watching four self-conscious young men try to remember lyrics, cues, and the moves and routines that accompany the music for their debut concert.

With Bill Cusick on piano and Irving Goldberg on bass, FOREVER PLAID stars Nicky Endsley as Jinx, Matty Colonna as Sparky, Dick Baker as Frankie, and Joseph Strickland as Smudge.

The men are funny and engaging. Before performing their opening number Three Coins in a Fountain, there's a quiet warning of "it's time to start the show; check your flies."

The quartet's perfected goofiness and appropriate stiffness took a backseat when the first notes waft through the theatre. The voices are absolutely incredible, whether flawlessly blending together or soloing; yet, my favorite part of the show was when the men sang acapella in perfect harmony.

Forever Plaid featured such nostalgic hits as Sixteen Tons, Chain Gang, Fountain, Perfidia, Cry, Catch a Falling Star, Day-O, Gotta Be This or That, among many others.

Nicky displayed additional talent by playing Heart and Soul on the piano with Patty, a woman pulled from the audience. Patty briefly stole the spotlight as she performed a step routine with the men like she was part of the production.

During the production, The Plaids ventured into the audience during the Calypso song Matilda, interacting with us, giving out a few musical instruments to accompany their music. I even got to shake the maracas!

They even put a nerdy crooner spin on The Beatles with She Love You, Yessiree.

Though the music of the crooner era and the references to a 3 minute and 11 second version of The Ed Sullivan Show, complete with familiar characters to those who knew the show, are not of my generation, you don't need to be elderly to laugh at the silliness or appreciate the beautiful vocals these four men have.

A magical part in this 90-minute journey was watching senior citizens sing along with The Plaids as their gorgeous voices transported them, momentarily, back to their youth. Very appropriately, Forever Plaid was a heavenly night at Jaeb Theatre.

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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