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Mrs. K and I traveled up to Carmel last evening to attend the second night performance of ATI’s production of Forever Plaid , directed by Don Farrell, with musical direction by Brent Marty. Farrell’s deep experience with the show – his program notes tell us of involvement in 21 previous productions, totaling around 1200 performances – comes shining through in every aspect of this sharply choreographed, smoothly arranged edition of the show, whose original version opened off-Broadway in May 1990.

The story is simple – the group Forever Plaid, a clean-cut, close harmony quartet of young male singers, performing the ’50’s style of The Four Freshman or the Hi-Los, come back to earth for one final chance to perform. They all had perished in a car accident on the way to a performance on February 9, 1964 – the very day the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

From left: Kurt Semmler, Steve Greist, Will Hutcheson and Tim Hunt are Forever Plaid

From left: Kurt Semmler, Steve Greist, Will Hutcheson and Tim Hunt are Forever Plaid


ATI’s Plaids are Kurt Semmler (Smudge), Steve Griest (Frankie), Will Hutcheson (Jinx) and Tim Hunt (Sparky). These four amazingly talented young men sing the show’s 30 song set with remarkable close harmony, with choreography straight from the 50’s doo-wop era, and with unbelievably sustained energy! Each member shines in their solos and coordinates perfectly in the ensemble pieces. Showing fine acting skills as well as their singing talents – these four men present a dynamic 90 minute romp, filled with the many songs, a few short sketches and some lively banter. Their presentation is so keenly polished throughout the show, it is stunning to realize these four performers got together for the first time less than 2 months ago.

Credit must be given as well to the incomparable Brent Marty, who provides high quality piano accompaniment for the group and bassist Greg Gegogeine, who keeps the beat and the low end going. They were excellent!

This is a great show, but it somehow isn’t enough to merely say that. There is some other quality there which is difficult to put one’s finger on. Maybe it’s the astonishingly smooth way these four men perform. Maybe it’s the total enjoyment we in the audience felt as these young men went through their paces. Just know that this is an extremely worthwhile show to commit to attending, especially if you are a 50’s music fan, but even if you are not.

Forever Plaid continues through February 16. For ticket information and reservations you can go to http://www.actorstheatreofindiana.org or call ATI at (317) 669-7983. Do not miss this show!

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