Friday, January 18, 2013

"Forever Plaid"

Book by:  Stuart Ross.

Venue:  Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 West Main Street, Littleton, CO

Date of Performance:  Thursday, January 17, 2013

The 1950’s are generally remembered as the best of times.  It was a time of peace, innocence, relative prosperity, and “traditional” family values.  Whether those memories are accurate is subject to debate, but there’s no dispute that it was the Golden Age of musical harmonies.  Forever Plaid is living, breathing, singing proof of the musical magic of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the Plaids were a 1950’s guy group, singing harmonies in bowling alleys and lounges in eastern Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, they were all killed when they were slammed by a school bus full of parochial kids from Our Lady of Harrisburg on their way to see the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  In other words, the entire cast is dead for the entire show.

In death, the Plaids have one last opportunity to do the concert they never got to do in life.  They have come back to the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center for a truly final appearance.  They take advantage of the opportunity and deliver a triumphant show chock full of delicious musical memories.

The story, however, is secondary to the music.  This play is about the music, and the plot serves only as a way to string together great songs.  And the set list is indeed impressive:  Three Coins in the Fountain, Catch a Falling Star, and Heart and Soul…just to mention a few.

Tim Howard, Barret Harper, Mark Middlebrooks, Jacob Villareal
Forever Plaid requires a solid cast with perfectly matched singing voices.  Nick Sugar (Director) and Donna Debreceni (Music Director) have put together a highly talented group, and they belt out every number with precision, harmony, and a touch of comedy.  When the Plaids are not blending their voices in delicate harmonies, Barret Harper (“Cry”) and Jacob Villareal (Sixteen Tons/Chain Gang) deliver solid, soulful solos. 

The audience demographic skews to a fairly mature group, but that doesn’t mean that younger audiences won’t enjoy this show.  In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that those who don’t remember the 1950’s and 1960’s will be impressed with the music and energy of Forever Plaid.  The contrast between guy group harmonies of 50-60 years ago and the current crop of rap music is stark.  Exposing kids to the former may change their views of the latter.

Forever Plaid at the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center is a guaranteed good time for all.  If you’ve never seen this show, don’t miss this opportunity.  If you’ve seen it before, see it again.  It’s a two-hour trip back in time that will make you smile, sing and laugh. 


This show runs until February 10, 2013.  This show is suitable for children.  You may want to arrive early, as the on street parking is limited.  There is an RTD park and ride lot nearby.  There are numerous restaurants and taverns nearby, so you may want to make Forever Plaid a dinner and show event.

Director:  Nick Sugar

Music Director:  Donna K. Debreceni

Sound Designer:  John Rivera

Lighting Designer:  Jacob Welch

Set Designer:  Tina Anderson

Costume Designer:  Linda Morken


Francis:  Mark Middlebrooks

Jinx:  Barret Harper

Smudge:  Jacob Villareal

Sparky:  Tim Howard


Piano:  Donna Debreceni

Bass:  Austin Hein

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