Friday, December 9, 2016

Plaid Tidings

Art Station’s Holiday Musical 
Reviewed by Doc Lawrence

STONE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA-What the world needs this time of year are tidings of comfort and joy. And the Art Station Theatre, one of Georgia’s priceless cultural gems delivers with Plaid Tidings, the seasonal sequel to the phenomenally successful revue Forever Plaid. During two hours of song and dance, the foursome, Smudge, Jinks, Frankie and Sparky, take the holiday audience on a journey designed, they announce, to “make America plaid again.”

There was a time when vocal quartets literally dominated American popular music. This version is more Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons than the Four Aces, both gifted and enormously popular, but different because of the former’s falsetto harmonies which the guys of Plaid Tidings do thanks in part to the presence of two gifted tenors. One, Tony Hays (Jinks), performs solo shows on the high seas with several luxury cruise lines and has starred at Trolley Stop Cabaret.

Those old enough to remember the halcyon days of live black and white TV shows like Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar, Perry Como, and Nat King Cole will find the songs and skits familiar and nostalgic. Children, too, will be spellbound by the harmonies, rhythms, slapstick, costumes and omnipresent goodwill. For those in between, everything may depend on appreciation of American popular music and the enormous cultural contributions of vaudeville and musical theater.

If you were entertained by Memphis, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Smokey Joe’s Café and Million Dollar Quartet and find yourself wiping away a tear when I’ll be home for Christmas, fills the air, then Plaid Tidings will put you into the spirit of the season.

Human voices are wonderful instruments and these stage stars deliver every note and verse seamlessly. Patrick Hutchison’s light-fingered piano accompaniment and musical direction powers the songs, adding those Americana touches that connect generations. The dancing is fun with bits of good humor, topped by a transformation of the Plaids to a Nineties boy band for "'Twuz tha Nite B4 Xmas."

Plaid Tidings, like real Champagne or homemade eggnog promises nothing less that satisfaction: A cup of holiday cheer is delivered, overflowing with comfort and joy.

NOTE: Art Station includes one of the region's top art galleries. Just opened: "My Southern Memories," 25 new paintings by Olivia Thomason.

No comments:

Post a Comment