Stillwater News Press

November 23, 2012

Stillwater Town and Gown Theatre opens "Plaid Tidings" on Wednesday.

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater’s Town and Gown Theatre is set to present its second production of the season with “Plaid Tidings” starting Wednesday

Director Ginger Thomas said this show is a sequel of sorts to another play, “Forever Plaid.”

“Two years ago we did the original, ‘Forever Plaid,’ and this is the special Christmas version of ‘Forever Plaid,’ ” she said.

Thomas explained the original show.

“It’s about four men,” Thomas said. “They had a four part harmony men’s group that got killed on the way to their very first gig and they are granted a chance to come back and perform.”

In this Christmas edition, the men get another chance to come back and perform but don’t know why. They come to find out that they are tasked with spreading holiday spirit.

The characters of Franky, Sparky, Jinx and Smudge are portrayed by actors John Thomas, Curtis Davis, Todd Malechote and Kevin Gerfen, respectively.

Thomas said a mix of traditional Christmas songs and hits of the 50s and early 60s, including “Mambo Italiano” and “Hey There,” will be a part of the show.

“It’s a lot of sight gags because (the characters are) very serious about what they’re doing, but remember they’re not professionals,” Thomas said. “The group was never professional. They performed in bowling alleys.”

She said the audience, young and old, will enjoy watching the characters interact with one another in a different setting than normal Town and Gown patrons may be used to.

“We ended up making a stage at one end which is the same thing we did for Forever Plaid,” she said. “There will be seats available on the floor around some tables to give that nightclub feeling. It would be like going to a concert or a dance hall where someone was performing.”

The four actors started rehearsing the songs weekly in September.

“We came into the arena here and started in October. ... We’ve been here ever since,” Thomas said.

She said a lot of work has gone into the production.

“We have had numerous people from the community assist with this,” she said.

This is Thomas’ second time directing a production for Town and Gown. She directed “A Man for All Seasons” more than five years ago.

“Plaid Tidings” will run from Wednesday to Dec. 2 and from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9. Tickets go on sale Monday.

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