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Forever Plaid: a nostalgic blend of music, fun, and story

Playing at Theatre at the Center through June 3

Forever Plaid
Matt Edmonds as Sparky tells the story of how he acquired “The Golden Cardigan” from Perry Como in Forever Plaid, at Theatre at the Center through June 3. (Photo: Brett Beiner)
by Melanie Jongsma

MUNSTER, Ind. (May 14, 2018) – If you are old enough to remember Sunday evenings in front of the television watching the Ed Sullivan Show, you’ll feel right at home in the audience of Forever Plaid. But even if you’re younger, you’ll probably appreciate the good-natured nerdiness of the 1950s characters as well as the tight harmonies of their boy-band music. Forever Plaid manages to compile 19 classics—originally made famous by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, the Beatles, and others—into a story of teenage dreams of stardom.

In essence, Forever Plaid is a 1950s concert, but the story woven through the numbers adds a layer of interest and humor. When Smudge (played by Christopher Ratliff) explains, for example, that they never had the chance to perform “Crazy ‘Bout Ya Baby” at a real show, they perform it using the equipment they practiced with in the stock room of his family’s plumbing supply company:

That kind of choreography is characteristic of all the numbers in Forever Plaid. Much of it is not exactly dancing, but it’s creative movement that enhances the story. Whether the characters are crooning into plungers, spinning on bar stools, or donning calypso hats and maracas, the fun additions draw the audience in and bring the concert to life. There were even a few moments of audience participation that were entertaining without being uncomfortable (even if you tend toward introversion).

Forever Plaid
From left: Adam LaSalle, Yando Lopez, and Matt Edmonds as Francis, Jinx, and Sparky, involve the audience in “Caribbean Plaid,” a medley of Harry Belafonte songs in Forever Plaid at Theatre at the Center. (Photo: Brett Beiner)
Forever Plaid
Christopher Ratliff (far left) as Smudge hits the low notes on “Sixteen Tons” and “Chain Gang,” with Matt Edmonds as Sparky, Yando Lopez as Jinx, and Adam LaSalle as Francis. (Photo: Brett Beiner)

One of the highlights of the show is “Lady of Spain,” in which the four guys sing while performing “the entire Ed Sullivan Show in three minutes and eleven seconds.” Running in and out across the stage, they evoke all the classic acts that Ed Sullivan is now famous for, even among generations who have never seen the actual show: Groucho Marx, spinning plates, Topo Gigio, Senor Wences, singing nuns, and others.

Going right from the frenzy of those numbers into a solemn rendition of “Scotland the Brave,” the guys demonstrate their emotional range and the power of their harmonies.

Showtimes and prices

If you’re looking for a fun evening of music, humor, and story, Forever Plaid is an affordable, local option. Through Sunday, June 3, performances are:

  • 2:00pm Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • 7:30pm Fridays
  • 3:00pm and 7:30pm Saturdays
  • 2:30pm Sundays
  • Select Thursday and Sunday night performances

Individual ticket prices range from $42—$46. To purchase individual tickets, call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or at 800-511-1532. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more, student tickets are $20, and gift certificates are also available.

About Theatre At The Center

Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown-caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking. Theatre at the Center is located in the Center for Visual and Performing Arts at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster, Indiana. For more information, visit


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.