STAGE-M’s ‘Forever Plaid’ to return for Tuba Bash

REHEARSAL: The cast of “Forever Plaid” practices at Crossroads Charter Academy’s auditorium. Tickets are on sale for the production, which will take place May 11 to 13.

BIG RAPIDS – In response to popular demand during the 2012 Festival of the Arts, STAGE-M will give another performance of “Forever Plaid” May 11 to 13, this time as part of Tuba Bash.

The second annual Tuba Bash will raise money for the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival, a festival in September that brings world-class musicians to Big Rapids for free performances. Edward Mallett, who founded Tuba Bach, also has one of the lead roles in “Forever Plaid,” so merging the two artistic outlets for a fundraiser was a natural solution.

ENCORE: STAGE-M performed “Forever Plaid” as part of the 2012 Festival of the Arts. The play will return in May as a fundraiser for Tuba Bach, an annual festival featuring musicians from around the world. (Pioneer photos)

“The whole point of the Tuba Bach festival is to bring professional musicians from around the world to provide that world-class music to the students and citizens of Big Rapids,” Mallett said.

Bruce Morgan, another of the leads in “Forever Plaid,” is excited for the chance to perform the play again. After nine years with STAGE-M, this is one of the first productions in which he’s had such a big role.

“The audiences were very much into it,” Morgan said of the shows for Festival of the Arts. “This show very much depends on audience participation.”

“Forever Plaid” tells the story of a group of friends who formed a singing group, The Plaids. On the way to pick up their plaid tuxedos before their first gig in 1964, the group is killed in an accident. Once in heaven, they are given a second chance to live out their dream and sent back to earth in 2012 to perform.

In addition to Morgan and Mallett, Chris Lamar and Andrew Sackett round out The Plaids. Michael Shansky plays piano and Dave Szot plays bass for the production.

2012 Tuba Bach schedule

  • Sept. 16 – Harlem String Quartet
  • Sept. 21 – Tuba Bach Quartet
  • Sept. 30 – Grand Rapids Symphony
  • Oct. 7 – Mike Stevens
  • Oct. 14 – Alvin Waddles Trio
  • Oct. 21 – Voca Lyrica with Sunny Wilkinson

“Forever Plaid” performances will take place at 7 p.m. on May 11 and 12 and at 3 p.m. on May 13 at Crossroads Charter Academy auditorium. Tickets are on sale for $20 per person or $50 per family at Artworks, the Old Pioneer Store and Emporium, Patterson’s Flowers and Great Lakes Book and Supply.

During the Festival of the Arts, “Forever Plaid” was performed as a dinner theater show for four nights with 100 tickets available for each performance. The show quickly sold out, and Mallett recommends purchasing tickets in advance for Tuba Bash performances as well.

Last year’s Tuba Bash raised $16,000. It takes $50,000 to $60,000 to fund Tuba Bach.

Morgan said he looks forward to Tuba Bach every year, and his parents visit from Oklahoma to attend the festival.

“These are professionals from around the world, so it’s a unique experience for us to get to see them,” Morgan said. “Tuba Bach is probably the highest quality (music) we have here (in Big Rapids).”

Performing at Crossroads will give the “Forever Plaid” cast and crew a larger venue, a more elaborate set and a different audience dynamic, said director Rose Anne Shansky.

Shansky commended the actors for remembering so much from the February production of “Forever Plaid” and is happy to have the play support Tuba Bach.

“(Tuba Bach) provides such a fantastic service for the community, and they provide it free of charge, which is exceptional,” she said.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.tubabach.org or contact Mallett at (231) 796-0712.

Forever Plaid

When: 7 p.m. on May 11 and 12, 3 p.m. on May 13

Where: Crossroads Charter Academy auditorium

Cost: $20 per person or $50 per family. Tickets are available at Artworks, the Old Pioneer Store and Emporium, Patterson’s Flowers and Great Lakes Book and Supply or by calling Edward Mallett at (231) 796-0712.

 

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