If you want a fun, warm, feel good musical that takes you back in time, you need to head over to The York Theater Company and see Plaid Tidings. This musical is a special holiday edition to Forever Plaid written and directed by Stuart Ross. Going into this show I was nervous that I haven’t seen the original musical, but the writing was so clever that I did not miss a beat.
Stuart Ross sets the musical in modern time, the Plaid Lads have been brought back to life and try to find the reasons why they have been brought back to earth, and they rely on the audience to help them discover their mission. The crazy plaid boys do a brilliant job of enticing the audience and bringing us along for the adventure.
The company consists of only four actors. We have Frankie portrayed by Bradley Beahen, who grounds the show, he’s the leader of the pack, and has a fantastic reality check with Rudolph the red nose reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. Next, we have Sparky, who lives up to his name. Sparky is played by Jose Luaces who managed to light up the stage whether he was singing, or just crossing the stage. Then we have Jinx, who was the shy plaid, but man did he have a voice! Ciaran McCarty plays this role perfectly, and you can’t help but fall in love with him. And the last Plaid Lad, Smudge. John- Michael Zuerlein plays Smudge, and in my opinion is the heart of the group. He can’t seem to keep up with the choreography and has the best physical comedy bits, but he breaks down and tells us the “uber dream” for the group, which is to have a Christmas Special on broadcast and to make people feel warm and gooey inside. And lets not forget the wonderful pianist, James Followell, who is on stage the entire time and deals with the Plaid Lads, but never misses a beat!
Along with a fantastic cast, the set was very impressive. It took you back in time and you feel like you are in the audience for a live taping. You enter the theater and all you see are Christmas lights and four mics. Little did you know that throughout the show, pop out platforms, and revolving doors would surprise you the entire night. The costumes were classic. They capture the “old school feel” and there was plenty of plaid.
Review By: Briana Burnside
Photos By: Carol Rosegg