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Easy Street Productions brings back ‘Forever Plaid’



Published: Sun, May 1, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

IF YOU GO:

What: “Forever Plaid”

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and May 13 and 14; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and May 15

Where: Ford Family

Recital Hall, 260 W. Federal St., Youngstown

Tickets: $25 ($23 for seniors; $15 for students); call the DeYor box office at 330-744-0264 or go to youngstownsymphony.com.

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Easy Street Productions is bringing back “Forever Plaid,” the quirky little musical about a ’60s vocal group that reunites in the afterlife.

The troupe last staged “Plaid” in 2008, and is returning with three of the four cast members intact, plus all of the musicians.

The show opens Friday at Ford Family Recital Hall, downtown.

Reprising their roles as The Plaids are Todd Hancock as Smudge, the bass singer; James McClellan as Jinx, lead tenor; and Tyler Clark as baritone Sparky. Jason Green will round out the quartet as Frankie, replacing Kyle Snyder who had the role in 2008.

“Kyle’s work schedule wouldn’t allow him to take Mother’s Day weekend off and we’ve wanted to feature Jason in an Easy Street show for years, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to join the group,” said Hancock. “If you’ve ever seen Jason on stage, you’d know why he fits into the Plaid jacket so well.”

Green was most recently seen just last month in The Oakland’s “Fat Pig.”

Hancock said anyone who gets a kick out of the original boy bands of the ’50s and early ’60s — such as the Crew Cuts or Ames Brothers — will love “Forever Plaid.”

“Even the young folks will like it, with ‘Glee’ being so popular,” said Hancock. “Let’s face it, the Plaids are GLEEks through and through.”

The adjacent Overture Restaurant will offer dinner and drink specials — with waiters in plaid bow ties.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great excuse to bring mom out for Mother’s Day,” said Hancock.

Easy Street failed to stage a Mother’s Day show last year for the first time in 23 years because Hancock, co-principal of the troupe, was recuperating from a minor stroke. “I’m hoping people will join us again this year,” he said.

Hancock is directing “Forever Plaid,” with Renee Rogers once again in charge of choreography and Don Yallach returning as music director. “Forever Plaid” is a humorous and nostalgic musical revue that includes dozens of vocal songs from the late ’50s and early ’60s, as performed by a little-known group that was killed on their way to their first gig. The meet up posthumously and decide to put on the show that they never got a chance to give.

Songs include “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Undecided,” “Moments to Remember,” “No, Not Much,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Chain Gang,” “Perfidia,” “Heart and Soul,” “Lady of Spain,” “Rags to Riches” and “Love is a Many- Splendored Thing.”


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