It is time to escape the chains of Covid Confinement and embrace live entertainment with the joyful sing-a-long sounds of the ’50s and ’60s in Forever Plaid. This is a retro revue paying honor to the close-harmony of Four Guy Groups, such as The Four Aces and The Four Freshmen, popular singers in the 1950s. Forever Plaid was written by Stuart Ross and first produced at the famous New York’s West Bank Cafe in 1987. James Raitt was responsible for the vocals, musical arrangements, and music direction. While Gene Wolsk was the original producer. In 1989 It was rewritten to include the demise of the Forever Plaid singing group on their way to their first big gig. Despite a girl’s Catholic school bus headed to the Ed Sullivan Show to see the Beatles debut broadsiding the Plaid’s cherry-red 1954 Mercury convertible, the Plaids are given a redemptive, second chance, albeit from Heaven. These buddies attain their dream of performing for us their audience. Since premiering at the cabaret-style, Steve McGraw Theater, off-Broadway Forever Plaid has maintained its distinction as an international fan favorite. This current show is directed and choreographed by Paul Stancato. Valerie Maze is the conductor and phenomenal keyboardist. Chuck Webb plays Bass and Jim Widlowski is the percussionist accompanying the Plaids.
This is Drury Lane Theatre’s 66th season and the perfect musical production to open after the long dreary desert of Covid cancellations. You will feel the joy and marvelous harmonies of such familiar and popular hits sung by Bryan Eng, Michael Ferraro, Yando Lopez, A.D. Weaver, Ben Dow, and Ryan Foreman. Included in their repertoire is: Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Three Coins in the Fountain, Undecided, Sixteen Tons, Chain Gang, Cry, Heart and Soul, a Beatle melange, and other favorites. The cast voices are definitely heavenly. A.D. Weaver’s vocal range is quite impressive. The musical stylings range from a Gregorian Chant, Doo-wop, crooning love ballads, and Calypso. Their on-stage antics, cheesy camaraderie add to this delightful production. They even include a few Covid jokes and some wild onstage antics with ginormous plumber plungers. This delightful, engaging Drury Lane production not only opens the theater season it also reminds us of heartfelt life memories. This opening night of Forever Plaid ended with a well-deserved, rousing, standing ovation from the audience.
Drury Lane is a shimmering, stunningly, gorgeous, comfortable 971 seat theatre. There is not a bad seat in this house. It opened in 1984 and is conveniently located only 15 miles west of Downtown Chicago at the intersection of Kingery Highway, Butterfield Road, and Roosevelt Road. Free ample parking is offered for 1400 cars. There is also a covered garage. Complimentary valet parking is available. The modern, stunning, Lucille Restaurant, named after the founding owner DeSantis’s wife, is a classical American restaurant offering lunch, brunch, and pre-theater dinners. It features a menu to satisfy all diners. I had their butternut ginger soup, exquisitely prepared Colorado lamb chops, mashed potatoes, grilled tomato slices with parmesan. It was a divine dinner with excellent service and presentations. Their Sundae cart offers a butter pecan gelato with Italian cookies made by Angelos just for Drury Lane. They have other flavors and a myriad of toppings for you to choose from.
Currently, following all Covid safety protocols, theatergoers will have to mask up, all through the show. Drury Lane is committed to making its productions and facilities accessible to all guests. Accessible seating is available by contacting the box office at +1 630.530.0111. There are also two types of assistive listening devices available free of charge. Tickets are already on sale for Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn opening November 19th, 2021-January 9, 2022. Evita is scheduled for January 28 – March 20, 2022. The King and I is on the calendar for April 1 – May 22, 2022. Closing out this season is Steel Magnolias June 10 – July 31, 2022. For more information contact Drury Lane Theatre.
Photos Courtesy of: Cathy Taylor/Kelsey Moorhouse – Cathy Taylor Public Relations, Inc.