Forever Plaid at On Pitch Performing Arts

"Forever Plaid" runs Oct. 25-Nov. 3 at On Pitch Performing Arts Center in Layton.

LAYTON — The play starts with a horrific, fatal car wreck involving four young men in a convertible and a school bus full of Catholic school girls.

And then it gets really funny.

“Forever Plaid,” the off-Broadway jukebox musical comedy, opens tonight (Thursday, Oct. 25) at On Pitch Performing Arts Center, 587 N. Main St., in Layton. The community theater will offer the show Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, through Nov. 3.

Brandon Stauffer, OPPA executive director, said they’ve long wanted to stage “Forever Plaid” at the two-year-old theater.

“When the board was meeting to go over the shows they wanted to bring in, ‘Forever Plaid’ has been at the top of the list since we opened,” Stauffer said. “It’s got great music, a great story, and the audience gets to be involved.”

As the plot goes, on Feb. 9, 1964, a semiprofessional quartet of singers was on its way to its first big gig — at an airport Hilton cocktail bar — when their cherry-red 1954 Mercury convertible is T-boned by a school bus full of Catholic girls. Ironically, the girls themselves are on their way to see the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Although everyone on the bus miraculously escapes injury, the four young men are killed instantly.

The rest of the show highlights the four singers — Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie, who collectively call themselves Forever Plaid — getting to return to Earth for one final show.

With their quite-literally-heavenly harmonies, the four ghosts sing songs like “Sixteen Tons,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Perfidia,” “Heart and Soul” and “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.” The nostalgic hits from the 1950s keep on coming all night long.

“It’s just four men and music, so it’s a very intimate show,” Stauffer said.

“Forever Plaid” is directed by Alex Young, and stars Daniel Peet, Joel Badger, Dan Tate and Jaxon Alvord. The music is directed by Cariel Goodwin. The musical was written by Stuart Ross.

Stauffer says he and his business partner, fellow theater-lover Charlene Adams, met a dozen years ago. They started Pitch Perfectly, with a focus on teaching voice and theater, but soon realized there were few live-theater opportunities for their students in the Layton area.

So they started their own nonprofit theater, On Pitch Performing Arts, and began offering community theater performances.

Recalls Stauffer: “We saw a void here and said, ‘What are we waiting for? We have a venue, and we have the people.’”

The OPPA 2018 season has featured “The Last Five Years,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” and “Tarzan.” Following “Forever Plaid,” the season concludes with “The Holiday Follies” on Dec. 12-14, and “Annie Jr.” on Jan. 10-12.

The 2019 season starts in February, and among the year’s nine offerings will be “Aida,” “Newsies,” the school edition of “Les Mierables,” “Into the Woods,” and the staged concert “Sweeney Todd.”

For more information, visit www.onpitchperformingarts.com or call 385-209-1557.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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