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Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009

‘Plaid Tidings’ Brings Holiday Cheer to Skylight Opera Theatre

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The harmonious foursome from Forever Plaid is back—from heaven, that is. And this time they’re given a chance to return to Earth to do the TV Christmas special they always wanted to do (despite being killed in a car wreck in the 1960s).

Plaid Tidings is the Skylight Opera Theatre’s holiday offering, and it offers plenty to jingle those bells and ring in the Christmas season. Getting past the silly premise, Plaid Tidings delights in the multitalented acting, singing and dancing of the four actors that make up The Plaids:  Joe Fransee (Sparky), Paul Helm (Jinx), Marty McNamee (Frankie) and Scott Stratton (Smudge). Thanks to fellow departed torch singer Rosemary Clooney’s literal “messages from above” (a very funny ongoing gag), the boys soon discover their purpose back on Earth.

The four work well together under director and choreographer Bill Theisen’s slapstick comic timing, especially with some very funny segments running through all the acts that have appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show”in rapid-fire succession. The quartet’s ultimate dream is to sing backup with their idol, the silver-haired, silver-tongued Perry Como. And as the audience watches a vintage Como Christmas special, the quartet does what it does best.

Nostalgia is a welcome respite during these uncertain times, and Plaid Tidings serves up a cup of holiday cheer that reminisces as well as entertains.

Skylight Opera Theatre’s Plaid Tidings runs through Jan. 3, 2010.