Live in the moment with the four young singers of the Plaids, who were killed in a car crash, only to be miraculously brought back to life on their way to their first concert.
Such is the premise of Forever Plaid, a popular off-Broadway musical brought to New York City in 1989, originally created and directed by Stuart Ross, to open at International City Theatre (ICT) on February 17.
“Since the accident happened while on the way to their first-ever big concert, they’re thrilled that they get to fulfill their dream and perform the show after all — even though now it’s more than 50 years later and they’re at International City Theatre,” the announcement stated.
Co-directed and choreographed by Scott Dreier and Kurtis Simmons, with musical direction by Brian Baker, Forever Plaid stars Jackson Hinden as Sparky, Travis Leland as Frankie, Robert Petrarca as Smudge and Nick Tubbs as Jinx, according to ICT.
“I was taught the show by Stuart, and we want to stay true to his vision,” stated Dreier, who played Smudge for two and a half years for the official San Diego company. “I’ve seen the play done numerous times in all kinds of ways. It always works, but I think it works best when it’s done the way it was intended – no gimmicks, no broad comedy, nothing over the top. Just getting back to a simpler time.”
The ICT revival is based on the original staging. And while Forever Plaid may be a walk down memory lane for some, Ross envisioned a show that all audience members could relate to, not solely the listeners already familiar with the music, according to ICT.
The four Plaids will perform some of the great pop hits of the ’50s, including the classics “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Catch a Falling Star,” “Chain Gang,” “Cry,” “Heart and Soul,” “Rags to Riches,” "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" and more.
“It's a story about dreams living on even after you're dead,” Ross said in an interview. “The most important thing is that you have the dream. There are a lot of quasi-serious undertones besides funny, campy business.”
Forever Plaid ran for five years after its 1989 New York premiere. Since then, the musical has been produced nationally and internationally and boasts one of the most successful off-Broadway soundtracks. In 2009, Forever Plaid was made into a feature film.
“It’s such a magical show,” Dreier said in a statement. “It just takes you away for 90 minutes.”
Forever Plaid opens at ICT on February 17, with two low-priced previews on February 15 and 16. To run through March 5, Forever Plaid will show Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM and Sundays at 2:00PM.
For more information and to make reservations, visit the website here.
ICT at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 330 East Seaside Way.