By Beki Pineda
FOREVER PLAID. Written by Stuart Ross; directed by Brian Jackson. Produced by BDT STage (5501 Arapahoe Ave.) through May 10. Tickets available at ww.bdtstage.com or 303-449-6000.
I have to admit I was not excited about seeing yet another production of FOREVER PLAID; I’ve worked on the show multiple times and seen it many more. But I had the same hesitancy about BDT’s last show—FIDDLER ON THE ROOF—and it turned out to be one of the best versions I’d ever seen. The same was true of PLAID. Much of its sincerity and innocence is written into the script, but these four Plaid singers bring their own special personalities to the production.
The device is simple: This group of singers have known each other since high school. On their way to their first paying gig, their car gets hit by a bus, and they are killed. Now, 51 years later, they are granted the ability to come back to Earth to sing one last concert. The music from the ’50s and ’60s recreates the world of Ed Sullivan and Perry Como. It is a show that provides a nostalgic look back at a simpler time—or at least we remember it as simpler.
Brian Jackson, a longtime performer at BDT, makes his directorial debut here and sings the role of Smudge, the one who can’t tell left from right and makes goofy (but cute) mistakes. Scott Severtson as Frankie is probably the one most likely to get a girlfriend with his beautiful full head of hair. Brett Ambler as Sparky and Brian Cronan as Jinx are stepbrothers who bring their family memories and sibling rivalries to the stage with them. Sparky is the cut-up while Jinx is the shy one. There’s a precision to the choreography of both feet and hands that is sweet to behold. In one of Jinx’s solos, “Cry,” he starts off hesitantly, but then, encouraged by his colleagues, really rocks out about half way through. You can’t help but cheer his success. “Perfidia” gives them a chance to display their really bad Spanish. During “Heart and Soul” and “Matilda,” they encourage audience participation. All in all, it’s a touching and completely enjoyable evening of music.
Keep your eye on BDT in the next year. Their next four productions are regional premieres. MARY POPPINS flies into Boulder in May. BUDDY Holly comes back to life for a concert in September. The ookie-kookie ADDAMS FAMILY will invade Boulder over the holidays starting in November. And the sweet, dark beginning of the Peter Pan story is told in PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS next summer. What an amazing lineup—good for you, BDT!
Wow factor: 8.5