PLAID TIDINGS is Musical Fun with a Big Plaid Christmas Bow on Top!October 2, 2012
(top to bottom) Christopher deProphetis, Ben Michael, Michael Philip O'Brien and Greg Nix. Photo by Mark Garvin.
PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatres 2012-2013 Independence Studio on 3 season opens with a mix of classic Holiday songs and fun 1950s tunes in PLAID TIDINGS, just in time for the holidays. Directed by Larry Raben, this toe-tapping production begins with previews on November 20th, opens November 29th and continues through December 30th in the Walnuts Independence Studio on 3.
Everyones favorite boy group Forever Plaid returns to the Walnut with PLAID TIDINGS. Frankie, Sparky, Jinx and Smudge once stood on the Walnuts Studio 3 stage and wove the magic of the 50s and 60s into the hearts of many with their delightful harmonies and refreshing humor. The Forever Plaid production was so popular, after it closed the 2001-2002 Studio 3 season, it returned for a second engagement in the Fall of 2002. This year, in PLAID TIDINGS, Rosemary Clooney has encouraged the boys to return to Earth to make things right in the world. With 1950s favorites including Strangers in Paradise and Mambo Italiano and Holiday gems like "Let It Snow" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," the boys are back to celebrate the holidays in Plaid style.
After the success of playwright Stuart Ross Forever Plaid, he was approached to write a sequel production. For a decade he resisted believing sequels should only be written for films. His outlook changed after the events of 9/11 when the world needed some joy and simple happiness. Ross wrote the holiday edition of Forever Plaid, PLAID TIDINGS, which premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2002 and has since been enjoyed by a national audience.
Larry Raben makes his Walnut directorial debut with PLAID TIDINGS. Raben has a history with Stuart Ross work, having performed as Sparky in the original productions of both Forever Plaid and PLAID TIDINGS. He reunited with Ross for the film version of Forever Plaid in 2008. Raben directed Hairspray and The Wedding Singer at The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in California, Falling for Eve at The York Theatre Company and Sunset Boulevard at The Gateway Playhouse, which he also choreographed. Joining Raben is Music and Vocal Director David Jenkins. Jenkins is familiar to the Walnuts intimate theatre having served as Musical and Vocal Director for last seasons popular production Rodgers and Hammersteins A Grand Night for Singing.
The Walnuts heavenly boy band will be brought to life with the comedic, spirited and vocal talents of four Philadelphia crooners including Christopher deProphetis (Francis), Ben Michael (Smudge), Greg Nix (Jinx) and Michael Philip OBrien (Sparky). Michaels returns to the Walnut where he was last seen in Miss Saigon. Nix joins the cast having recently performed on the Walnuts stage in Buddy The Buddy Holly Story. Audiences enjoyed OBriens performance last season in Rodgers and Hammersteins A Grand Night for Singing. deProphetis makes his Walnut debut after touring nationally and internationally with productions including South Pacific, Miss Saigon and Rent.
Setting the stage for an evening of Holiday fun, the creative designers for PLAID TIDINGS include Walnut veterans Scenic Designer Glen Sears (Doubt A Parable, The Mousetrap), Lighting Designer Shon Causer (Love Story, the musical; Ethel!), Costume Designer Mary Folino (The Mousetrap, Rodgers and Hammersteins A Grand Night for Singing) and Sound Designer Zachary Brown (Rodgers and Hammersteins A Grand Night for Singing, Ethel!).
Season sponsor for the 2012-2013 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philadelphia Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35 - $45 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 215-336-1234. Tickets are also available at WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.