Musical Splendor: Waterfront Presents “Forever Plaid” (Keys Weeks Review)

Musical Splendor: Waterfront Presents “Forever Plaid” (Keys Weeks Review)

By Hays Blinckmann

The Waterfront’s season is drawing to a close and they are going out with a bang with their latest production, “Forever Plaid.” It’s a joyous singing comedy packed with harmonious vocals and sly humor. Step back in time to 1964 and meet the “Plaids,” a quartet of rambunctious, overzealous singers, who miraculously have come back from the dead (tragic accident on the way to a show) to play the concert of their dreams. If a stage was their heaven, then they made it. For anyone who loves music from the ’50s and ’60s sing by fresh voices with eye-catching choreography, then don’t miss this absolutely charming evening at the Waterfront.

“Forever Plaid” is 90 non-stop minutes of toe-patting, song-filled wonders complete with a disco ball and bubble machine. Written by Stuart Ross, the original production received accolades from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Director Cameron Murray rose to the challenge, and recreated the same whimsy and vigor in Key West.

“Good evening, we’re forever Plaid and we’re dead,” said Sparky, played by Marc Crow. The quartet also includes Matthew Kennedy (Jinx), J.B. McLendon (Smudge) and Jeremy Zoma (Frankie). Each brings a goofy personality and even goofier plaid outfit to life with incredible vocal ability. Whether singing together in perfect harmony or performing solos, these actors/singers are clearly talented.

“We never sounded this good in life,” joked Jinx. Well, they do now, performing such classic hits as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Catch a Falling Star,” “Chain Gang,” “Cry,” “Love Is a Man-Splendored Thing” and many more. The audience exuded sheer joy during the Plaids’ rendition of “Matilda,” which encouraged everyone to sing along.

The Plaids have more fun and more flair than Yale’s Whiffenpoofs with equal expertise. Supporting the singers onstage is Michael Fauss, musical director, playing on keyboards; and Gary Rivenson, on bass. Always on target is the set design by Michael Boyer, who easily transports the audience back to the time of Ed Sullivan type theaters.

So head to Plaid land! Performances being a 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available at www.WaterfrontPlayhouse.org or at 305-294-5015.

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