“Forever Plaid,” a modest, nostalgic off-Broadway musical about a fictional four-part-harmony group, has been extended for four more performances (through June 13) at Diamond Head Theatre. Go see it, if you can; you’ll be forever glad.
It is the perfect confection for this ongoing pandemic, with a small four-member cast, an orchestra of two, and one set against which four lads appear in sort of a dream sequence since they perished in a crash en route to a gig where they specialize in boy-group harmonics of the 1950s. The title alludes to the group’s fondness of plaid, and there are four of ‘em, and they idolize the Four Freshmen.
That’s all the subtext you need to know to enjoy this stroll down memory lane.
Tyler Devere appears as Jinx, Scott Fikse as Smudge, Ryan Michel as Frankie, and Will Thomson as Sparky, whose vocal ranges, when combined, result in sweet harmonics suitable for songs of the era, including “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “No Not Much,” “Rags to Riches,” and “Moments to Remember.”
As lovingly directed and choreographed by Andrew Sakaguchi, who played Smudge in a 1997 mounting of this bon-bon at the unlikely Waikiki restaurant-club called Hula Hut in 1997, “Forever Plaid” represents the naivete and niceties of a kinder, gentler time in entertainment.
Its flashback motif works, in this era of pandemic stress, and DHT’s revival is an opportune vehicle to move back into show mode, albeit with caution and safety. Masks are required for entry and watching, and social distancing protocols remain. The tradeoff is a feel-good feeling as you exit the theater.
The show, created by Stuart Ross, lowers the bar considerably in the production realm, but succeeds in keeping reality in check; DHT has a full slate of creative talent at play, without the overhead of an overblown product in a financially distressed time.
The four gents are genial and appealing, engaging in minimal but essential choreographics, which require some dancing feats but more hand motions and body action. Agility is a must, for a visually hilarious panorama of 3 minutes and 11 seconds of the antics during an Ed Sullivan Show, embracing such warm remembrances including Topo Gigio, my-name-Jose Jimenez, jugglers and accordionist, spinning plates and hula, Senor Wences and his hand puppet Johnny, in the host’s “really big shoe.”
Remaining shows: 4 p.m. today (June 7), 7:30 p.m. June 11, 3 and 7:30 p.m. June 12 and 4 p.m. June 13. Tickets: $22 at www.diamondheadtheatre.com.