The Media Theatre had plenty of success this summer when it took its production of “Forever Plaid” to the shore in New Jersey. Now, the show brings its harmonies and classic '50s hits to State Street in Media, February 20 through March 31 with a new cast.
The Plaids are a humorous and endearing quartet of charismatic young guys who are stuck in the ’50s due to an accident which sent them to the after-life rather quickly. They are given a chance to perform the concert of their lifetime in the present day but never realize times have changed. The show is a reminder of youth eternal and terrific No. 1 hits by famous groups like The Four Aces.
Only one cast member returns from the summer 2012 production, but this time he is playing a different role. Philadelphia’s JP Dunphy, who played the role of Jinx this past August, will take on the role of Frankie in “Forever Plaid,” this time around. Frankie is the leader of the group who makes sure that the others know what they are doing. He delights in singing “Three Coins In The Fountain” and “Heart and Soul” with his pals.
Dunphy has been seen in several Media Theatre productions including “Annie,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” and “Hairspray.”
The role of Jinx will be played by Patrick Ludt, another veteran of The Media Theatre stage, who was seen recently in “Rent,” “Dr. Dolittle” and the title role in “Jekyll and Hyde." Jinx is the shy, nervous member of the quartet. He is able to hit the high notes beautifully and lets his hair hang down when he sings the hit “Cry.”
Sean Thompson, who received rave reviews as Matthew Mugg in the recent “Dr Dolittle,” will portray Smudge, the group’s worrier. Smudge is a bit clumsy and nervous, although audiences find him absolutely charming (which he never seems to realize). Thompson’s credits include “Sunset Boulevard” at DC’s Signature Theatre and “Much Ado About Nothing” with Philadelphia’s Mauckingbird Theatre Company. In “Forever Plaid” audiences will hear some of his purest low notes when he performs “Sixteen Tons.”
Michael Wessells will perform on The Media Theatre stage for the second time in “Forever Plaid” after appearing in “Dr. Dolittle” this past holiday season. His recent credits include Walnut Street Theatre’s “Love Story,” the National Tour of “Cinderella,” and “Guys and Dolls.” He will play the role of Sparky, the quartet’s constant joker. His big song “Perfidia” is always a crowd pleaser.
To see the humorous, harmonious guys of “Forever Plaid” call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The first two weeks of the show’s run are preview weeks with discounted seats available. The musical, great for all ages, also features a hilarious Ed Sullivan tribute and plays February 20 through March 31.
The Media Theatre is located at 104 E. State Street in Media, near Monroe Street. All performers in “Forever Plaid” are members of the Actors Equity Association. Tom Fosnocht, resident music director, conducts the live band onstage.