Drury Lane Theatre Presents FOREVER PLAID Review — Cornball Charmer

Click here to read more Picture This Post Drury Lane Theatre stories.

Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
(left to right) Actors Michael Ferraro, Bryan Eng, Yando Lopez and A.D. Weaver Photo: Brett Beiner Photography

“We’ve got a really big shoe for you tonight..”

 So says hunched over actor and Ed Sullivan mimic A.D. Weaver, after the bubbles float, and before the mayhem collage of Topo Gigio, jugglers, animal acts and more re-create the Ed Sullivan Show from our four protagonists’ shared memory and first days of television. The only thing missing is a Geritol commercial.

Ah, those innocent times—in imagination, if not in reality. This was when conventional wisdom had it that you could tell the good girls from the bad girls. Girls had long hair, boys didn’t. It was a time when four guys could meet in the school AV club and discover their shared penchant for harmony.  Everyone could go into the basement and sing to plungers and mops, pretending they were mic’d and had hit the big time.

Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
Photo: Brett Beiner Photography

Four triple threats come out from this time capsule to recreate the scene. They are Perry Como-inspired —a boy band called The Plaids. In a car on their way to a big gig they are hit by a school bus of girls getting hoping to see The Beatles. The British Invasion changed the music scene, the metaphor reminds. The story doesn’t focus on the blood and gore that the car crash must have involved. Rather, it’s the group’s dashed hopes of getting their made-to-order plaid tuxedos that so disappoints. SPOILER ALERT: Just before departing to heaven, these tuxes DO arrive!

Drury Lane Theatre Gives Us Ear and Eye Candy Both

Twenty songs in 90 minutes—blended and harmonious—we have tuned into the easy listening radio station of that time. Cameos let us admire the range of the actor/singer/dancers. Mini-klieg light collages, floating disco ball diamond lights and more—Drury Lane Theatre’s stagecraft has that big budget Broadway feel. Most of all, these four talents are tight, tight, tight in their moves and song.  From Three Coins in the Fountain to Harry Belafonte’s calypso, to 16 tons and what do you get? and more—there is, in this writer’s opinion, a goldilocks-right mix of tunes to keep us engaged and hungry for the next song.

Too bad we all have masks on—these mega-talented cast members can’t see how much everyone in the audience is smiling from start to finish.  They are a HUGE part of this production’s appeal, in this writer’s view. It doesn’t seem to be blind casting as much as inclusive casting—with Asian dimpled musician Bryan Eng, wide vocal-ranged African-American A.D. Weaver, smooth moving Latino Yando Lopez, and the add-on Michael Ferraro, perhaps the only member of the foursome whom the mainstream (read: White) radio stations of that time would have played.  Their multiracial combination—so unlikely for a real-world Plaids of the 50’s—is always a back-of-mind happy reminder that this is now, thank goodness, when Ozzie and Harriet get to share a bed.

There’s something more than a little corny about Forever Plaid, but perhaps you’ll agree that this is exactly the right lite note for everyone coming out from pandemic lockdown.

If you seek out theater experiences that crack open your mind to new thoughts and dimensions, Forever Plaid is likely missable. If you love entertainment for entertainment’s sake, and especially as a chance to admire young energetic talents, this is a top pick for your time.

Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
Bryan Eng
Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
A.D. Weaver
Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
Yando Lopez
Drury Lane Theatre FOREVER PLAID
Michael Ferraro


Nominate this for The Picture This Post BEST OF 2021???
Click Readers' Choice

Want to see who won the Picture This Post READERS’ CHOICE competition last year?

Yes!! Please note my vote to add this to the
Picture This Post BEST OF 2021


Now through November 7, 2021

Wednesdays: 1:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Drury Lane Theatre
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace




For tickets visit the Drury Lane Theatre website or call 630) 530-0111



Note: Picture this Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago


Written and Originally Directed and Choreographed by:        Stuart Ross
Musical Continuity Supervision and Arrangements by:            James Raitt
Originally Produced by:     Gene Wolsk
Directed and Choreographed by:     Paul Stancato
Music Direction by:       Valerie Maze


Brian Eng (Sparky), Michael Ferraro (Frankie), Yando Lopez (Jinx) and A.D. Weaver (Smudge).




Felicia Finley (Assistant Director/Choreographer), Kristen Martino (Scenic Designer), Rachel Boylan (Costume Designer), Lee Fiskness (Lighting Designer), Ray Nardelli (Sound Designer), and Cassy Schillo (Props Designer).

Photos courtesy of Drury Lane Theatre

Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.

Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.


Share this:

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *