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'Forever Plaid' runs through Aug. 5

POSTED: July 15, 2012 2:00 p.m.
Autumn Vetter/

Daniel Collier, from left, Gary Modlish and Nicholas Crawley rehearse a scene from “Forever Plaid” at the Cumming Playhouse. Not shown is fellow actor Bradley Renner.

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Nicholas Crawley can’t relate well to current popular music.

Rather, the 23-year-old said he’s more drawn “toward doo-wop and classical singing.”

“I feel more comfortable with the crooners,” he said during a rehearsal for “Forever Plaid,” which opened Thursday at the Cumming Playhouse. “I’ve always loved Elvis, Frank [Sinatra], all the greats.”

That love is being put to good use as Crawley is one of four men portraying The Plaids, a 1950s four-part harmony singing group in the show, which runs through Aug. 5.

Renee Davis, owner of PlayRight Productions, said “Forever Plaid” traces the journey of The Plaids as they receive a supernatural chance to put on the show of a lifetime.

“They were killed on their way to their first big show. They were slammed by a bus of Catholic school girls,” Davis said. “It’s the day that Ed Sullivan had the Beetles on his show is the day they were killed.”

Davis said the group later is given a chance to come back to modern times to perform.

“I guess you’d say they’re stuck between dimensions for sure,” she said. “They’re not alive, for sure, but they’re not really dead and they’re trying to figure out how this is happening because it’s 2012 … and they got killed on their way to a show in the ’60s.”

Davis said “Forever Plaid,” which debuted off Broadway in 1989, features a number of popular tunes from the 1950s and ’60s, such as “Catch a Falling Star,” “Three Coins in the Fountain” and “Crazy About You Baby.”  

She said audiences probably will find the most appeal in the way the four men, who along with a pianist and bass player make up the entire cast, interact with one another.

“I think they’re going to like the energy that the four boys have together,” she said. “They’re really gelled like a good bunch of kids that have grown up together would be.”

Director Craig A. Meyer, who has directed and acted in the show many times, said it crosses multi-generational lines.

“You can bring young people to the show … there’s a lot of great music and great comedy,” he said. “And for the other people who really remember when this music was first created … there’s a lot of connection with this music, so the age range is great.”

He added that the show harkens back to a simpler time, making it appropriate for audiences of all types.

“It’s just so much more accessible and not necessarily innocent, but not as cluttered. You know, life wasn’t as cluttered back then,” he said.

“It’s really sweet … the church ladies can come to this and you can bring your kids and not worry about are [the actors] going to say something [inappropriate].”

Meyer also loves the show’s message.

“[It’s] about having a dream and following a dream and it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past … you can have a moment of destiny and an opportunity to touch your dream and live it out,” he said.

“It may be for just that one moment and it might go for longer, but savor it, grab hold of it and don’t discount it and don’t let what’s behind you hold you back from what’s in front of you.”

 

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