Four squeaky-clean boy-band singers killed in a car accident in 1964 were once permitted to return to Earth to perform the concert that would have made them famous. But when the night was over, they were doomed to go back to the afterlife – never to be heard from again.
Thus was born “Forever Plaid,” the popular musical comedy by Stuart Ross that debuted in 1990.
But the universe lied. The Plaid is back with yet another mission: to stage their own, never-realized Christmas special. And after attending the opening night performance of “Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings” at the Tipping Point Theatre, I can only ask: What was the rush?
The fault lies primarily with the script. For starters, much of the show’s first half is a rehash of the original. And then too much time is wasted justifying the group’s return.
The second act is far superior – albeit still a mixed bag. (A hip-hop number in a 1960’s Christmas show?) But extended sequences about their encounter with Perry Como and the recreation of an entire episode of “The Ed Sullivan Show” (in a little over three minutes) are superb.
The singers are individually excellent, but important harmonies were not always gelling on opening night. And sweet Greg Stockbridge (Sparky) was by far the most interesting and engaging narrator/storyteller of the four.
(FOR “REVIEW BOX”)
‘Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings’
Tipping Point Theatre, 361 E. Cady St., Northville. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 29 (except Nov. 22). Tickets: $18-$35. For information: 248-347-0003 or http://www.tippingpointtheatre.org