Forever Plaid Takes a Journey Down Memory Lane at Mac-Haydn
The Plaids are killed in a car accident on their way to see the Beatles’ first live performance on the Ed Sullivan Show when their car is broadsided by a bus of Catholic school girls. (The girls were all fine!) They return to Earth for one night to complete their dream…presenting a concert.
Forever Plaid opens on this rather dour note but ends on a feel-good crescendo. The Plaids – Frankie (Cody Edwards, lead singer), Smudge (John Hannigan, bass), Jinx (Kylan Ross, tenor), and Sparky (Miles Yokom, baritone) – sing tight four-part harmony. They are accompanied by Eric (Eric Shorey, who comes with the room they have found themselves in). Each has his own idiosyncratic issue from bloody noses, to stage fright, to asthma attacks. Together, they are a compilation of sweet, insecure, somewhat neurotic, and incredibly talented young men who have been given the opportunity to live out their one last dream.
The show is not so much about the group’s story as it is about listening to some of the most delightful musical trips down memory lane. Each of these four young men has a moment or two to stand out from the quartet. By themselves, their voices are excellent. Together, The Plaids give us 90 minutes of vocal liquid gold. Smooth, silky, and joyful. Cody Edwards sets up most of the numbers. His strong lead voice carries the group through “Three Coins in The Fountain”, “Moments to Remember”, “Perfidia”, and “Catch a Falling Star” to name but a few. John Hannigan’s deep rich bass offers depth to all the numbers and takes center stage with the “Sixteen Tons”/“Chain Gang” medley. Kylan Ross’s soaring, crystal clear, pristine tenor shines in “Cry”, and Miles Yokom’s baritone continually rounds out the group’s sound throughout the show.
Forever Plaid is more about the music than the plot which, while cute, is certainly contrived. The two-minute forty-second rendition of The Ed Sullivan Show will, for those old enough to remember, have you rolling in the aisles. What makes this production work so well is a combination of Eric Shorey’s musical direction and Ashley Delane Burger’s choreography. Director James Barry has shown his ability as a secure director by allowing the music to be the star of this show.
Forever Plaid runs in cycle with several other productions throughout the month of September at Mac-Haydn. Sadly, perhaps because audiences tend to think of Mac-Haydn as a “summer” venue and summer ends with Labor Day, the audience was less than sparse. There is still plenty of talent left to enjoy through the end of the month. Make it your mission to enjoy the amalgamation of talent that the Mac has to offer while the weather is still delightful. These hard-working performers deserve to be seen.
The show runs through October 2. Masks and proof of vaccination are required. For ticket information call the box office at 518-392-9292 or on the web at www.machaydntheatre.org.