The Washington Times-Herald

July 26, 2013

'Forever Plaid' coming to Veale Creek

Musical follows 50s harmony group for one last peformance

By Nate Smith Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Starting Tuesday, four local men will transform into a 50s harmony quartet doing one last show as the musical “Forever Plaid” opens on the Veale Creek Theater stage.

“Plaid” is the story of four friends from high school, Sparky, Jinx, Smudge and Franky, who formed a 50s-style vocal group, the Plaids. They were heading to the tailor to pick up what would have been their trademark plaid jackets when, well, one will just have to find out.

“Because the sun, moon and planets are just in the right order, they are coming back for one night and do the show they couldn’t do in the 1950s,” director Julie Wadsworth said.

The production features the four members of the Plaids, Draven Pancake, Kyle Gregory, Micah Ryan and Scott Griffith, on the stage as they sing hits from the harmony era with little to no break at all. Also, the music for the entire production is live, provided by accompanist Tyler Simpson.

“It’s all live,” Wadsworth said.

For the four Plaids, rehearsals started last month and based on the numbers that are performed, look difficult to pull off. Griffith, the choral teacher at Washington High School, said the music is challenging.

“Basically the musical is all harmony,” Griffith said. “There’s a lot of very tight chords that have to be ironed out and finely tuned.”

This is Gregory’s first time performing on the Veale Creek stage. He said the music has been challenging but also “very fun.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gregory said. “It’s been a lot of work to get to this point. Also getting to bond with these guys, that’s part of the show too. The Plaids were really good friends and that comes through too.”

Throughout the show, the audience meets the Plaids and they all have interesting stories to tell.

“You also get to know the Plaids through their personal memories,” Ryan said.

Many of the songs the Plaids sing on stage will be ones that people will remember, including “Sixteen Tons,” “Three Coins in a Fountain,” “Lady of Spain,” “Chain Gang,” and others that fans of that era liked.

“It’s going to be more of a memories ride for a lot of our audience,” Griffith said. “The music is very familiar. It will take them on a memory journey.”

And this is a musical that fans of musicals will also enjoy.

“I think it will be a show people will remember,” Pancake said. “I think the people who enjoy shows will like it and people who go to musicals more will like it because of the challenging aspects of it.”

“Plaid” was created as an off-Broadway musical in 1990 by Stuart Ross. It has been performed internationally and has been one that Wadsworth has been wanting to do for a while.

“It reminded me of the ‘Nunsense’ shows that I have been in and I thought it might be different to do a male (musical),” Wadsworth said.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at Hibbett Sports, 120 Cherry Tree Plaza. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. during the week and a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 4.

Two info boxes if wanted. 1. Online See more of the Plaids as they get ready to perform "Forever Plaid," at the Veale Creek Theater. Online at washtimesherald.com 2. If you go "Forever Plaid" will open at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 4 at Veale Creek Theater. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Hibbett Sports, 120 Cherry Tree Plaza.