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Plaid Tidings

a Holiday Musical
by Stuart Ross

COMPANY : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 5008

SHOWING : December 08, 2016 - December 23, 2016



Vocal and Musical arrangements by James Raitt, Brad Ellis, Raymond Berg & David Snyder.

The legendary Plaids come back to earth to spread yuletide joy with the greatest Holiday hits of the ages. The holidays at ART Station promise to be very cheerful this year with "Plaid Tidings." A holiday sequel to the original "Forever Plaid," this seasonal treat has the four legendary Plaids returning to earth once again, with their fabulous four part harmony, and lovable personalities. After a call from Rosemary Clooney, the famous foursome -- Francis, Smudge, Spark and Jinx -- have a mission to put a little holiday harmony into a discordant world!

Director Karen Beyer
Smudge Richie Crownfield
Jinks Tony Hayes
Frankie Robby Owenby
Sparky Geoff Uterhardt
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Tartan It up for Christmas
by playgoer
Saturday, December 24, 2016
"Plaid Tidings" doesn’t have the most compelling storyline in the history of musical theatre. The four deceased crooners from "Forever Plaid" have come back to life again, and can’t quite figure out why. But holiday songs keep creeping into their arrangements. Hmm. Maybe they were brought back to bring a little holiday cheer?

And cheer they do bring. This breezy, music-filled entertainment depends on four excellent singers creating vibrant, distinct characters, nailing comedy bits, and blending vocally. ART Station’s cast members do all of this well, to varying degrees. Googie Uterhardt, as Sparky, has tremendous comic timing, sings well, and blends beautifully. Robert Mitchel Owenby (Frankie) has developed an immensely likeable character and sings lead like an angel, but tends to stand out a tad too much when he should be blending. The hobbled Ritchie Crownfield (Smudge) creates a delightfully prissified character and sings from the bottom to the top of his range with sweetness, if not an excess of power, and blends beautifully. Tony Hayes has stratospheric tenor notes to reach as Jinks, and he seems to be concentrating on that, letting his singing predominate over his underdeveloped character.

Patrick Hutchison plays piano, as well as having provided musical direction for the show. He does this excellently, as always, and also gets the chance to do a spot-on Liberace impression. That’s not to mention the bongo drums and sombrero he gets to utilize in the audience-participation "Matilda" number. Karen Beyer has kept the direction light and cheery, and has managed to keep the choreography flowing in the face of Mr. Crownfield having to remain seated for all of the show except for a couple of steps from one seated position to another.

The technical aspects of the show are fine, but not breathtaking. Michael Hidalgo’s set design consists mainly of an upper platform coming to a point center stage, backed by silver tinsel-like curtains. A rolling steamer trunk disgorges props as needed (and act two has a LOT of over-the-top props, adding immensely to the fun). Mr. Hidalgo’s lighting and sound do all they need to do, and Jeanne Cwiklik Fore’s costumes delight with distinct plaid-heavy matching outfits for acts one and two.

ART Station has produced a show to please the subscribing patrons of the theatre. There’s nothing edgy about it, and the ages of the familiar cast members are probably twice what they should be on average for a struggling "boy" band group. The content isn’t exactly consistent with the supposed time period of 1959 for the group’s lifetime, with references to Kwanzaa and a hip hop-inspired number, but the show overall sit squarely in the zeitgeist of the heyday of Perry Como and Ed Sullivan. For an older audience, it’s familiar stuff. For a younger audience, it’s just plain G-rated fun. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
*Jinx by Okely Dokely
Jinks is specified in the program by playgoer
..although "Jinx" is no doubt correct in terms of what’s in the script


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