FOREVER PLAID

Comments by Toby McDaniel in The State Journal-Register, 4/23/2004

SHOW BIZ

The FOREVER PLAID cast had difficulty enticing a member of the audience onto the Center for the Arts stage to plunk a few notes as the '50s/'60s-style four-part harmony guy group performed "Heart and Soul" last Saturday night. But a gal in the upper balcony yelled to Plaid GUS GORDON that she would volunteer her mother if he would come and get her.

As soon as "Mom" - who turned out to be pianist KAREN FERGUSON - hit the stage, the Plaids realized they were dealing with a live wire, not a bashful no-talent. The routine for this particular number is that the audience volunteer pounds one key while ED MACMURDO ("Sparky") pumps out the tune, but Karen took over the keyboard with an amazing swing version of the song.

She wowed and broke up both the audience and cast and was accorded a big ovation as she returned to her seat and daughter VANESSA in the balcony.

One of the best music/comedy-packed cabaret shows Springfield will ever get, FOREVER PLAID wraps up this weekend with 8 p.m. performances today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

****

GRACE ABOUT TOWN

Comments by Grace Smith in the Illinois Times, April 22, 2004.

Saturday night, we went to see FOREVER PLAID at the Center for the Arts, and before that, we dined at Maldaner's.

FOREVER PLAID was another new and enjoyable experience. Gus Gordon puts on an incredible show; I don't know how he has time to do it, plus his full-time weathermanning. When does he sleep? The other guys in the show are also great -- there's Steve Williams, hilarious; Ed MacMurdo, also hilarious; and Greg Floyd, really good as the shy one. The show is mostly music, with the thinnest veneer of a plot wrapped around it, and the music is outstanding. Each man is perfect at doing his own little business throughout. I want to see it again.

Luckily, you still have time to catch it (unless it's sold out already): It runs this weekend, too.

****

BACKSTAGE PASS

Comments by Phil Funkenbusch in the Illinois Times, April 15, 2004.

FOREVER PLAID, the tuneful show that was an off-Broadway hit in 1990 and has played here several times, is back for two weeks at the Springfield Center for the Arts. The Gordon Productions show, which runs April 16-18 and April 22-25, is the same production that was seen at New Salem and Springfield Theatre Centre. Once again, Greg Floyd, Gus Gordon, Ed MacMurdo, and Steve Williams are cast as members of an early '60s singing group who die en route to their big-break concert. When they do get a chance to perform again, it's in heaven. That's about it for the plot, but the plot is not important in a show like this. The songs make the show and this one is basically non-stop singing by four guys who know what they're doing. And they do it very well. A lighthearted tribute to the "guy groups" of the late '50s-early '60s, FOREVER PLAID offers up great laughs, including my favorite, a tribute to Ed Sullivan, the popular host of the long-running variety show on CBS. The long list of songs includes "Heart and Soul," "Sixteen Tons," "Cry," and "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing." The cast performs those close harmonies perfectly.

****

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