Whenever I go to the New Candlelight Theatre, I always know that I am going to be entertained. Seeing Forever Plaid was no different! It may not be a musical that you recognize, but it is certainly one that you will enjoy. And there are more than a few songs that you will know! Forever Plaid follows a four-man harmony group who met their tragic end on February 9, 1964. On their way to pick up custom-made plaid tuxedos, the Plaids were struck by a car full of teenagers. In that moment, their careers and their lives ended. That is where Forever Plaid begins. In order to move onto the next life, Forever Plaid must perform the concert that they never got the chance to do while they were alive. I don't know if it's the atmosphere of the New Candlelight Theatre, or the intimacy of this show in particular, but you feel like you are at headlining concert in Vegas
Forever Plaid at the New Candlelight Theatre does not disappoint. Each of the four members of the group shines in his own way. Sparky, played by Peter Briccotto, is the clown of the group. The few songs where Bricotto takes the lead are full of life, especially Perfidia. Caleb Whipple's Frankie is the leader of the group. Although each member takes his turn singing lead, the men all look to Frankie for leadership, and Whipple plays him as a true born leader. I don't think it's any coincidence that Whipple is not unlike Frankie Valli. His voices stands out when he's singing lead, but like any true leader, when someone else is taking the spotlight, he blends in with the background vocals.
Smudge, the nerdy bass Plaid who is plagued by an upset stomach when he gets nervous, is played by Dan Sanchez. His Smudge is incredibly endearing. One of the best moments of the show is during the song Rags to Riches, where Smudge takes lead. In that moment, Sanchez takes Smudge from an unsure, nervous funny guy singing bass to a confident crooner, taking the stage for his own. The highlight of Forever Plaid is Jeffrey Lanigan, who plays the tenor plagued by frequent nose bleeds, Jinx. Lanigan's voice is absolutely incredible. His voice rings crystal clear through the theatre as he hits the "money notes" with ease. Even though the Plaids joke that they never found love in life, had they been able to perform that big concert, they would have had no trouble getting dates.
As a collective, all four of the Plaids create a wonderful sound. Forever Plaid is a fun, feel-good show that will have you humming a tune or three for a few days at the least. Forever Plaid runs at the New Candlelight Theatre until August 24. If you haven't been to the New Candlelight Theatre before, your ticket price also includes a buffet dinner that is served two hours before show time. Call the box office at 302.475.2313 or visit http://www.nctstage.org.
Posted at 12:02pm on July 15, 2013 by Gina Poletti
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