PLAID TIDINGS Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Charlie Meredith as Sparky, Tyler Huckstep as Jinx, John Battagliese as Francis and Thomas Knapp as Smudge. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Charlie Meredith as Sparky, Tyler Huckstep as Jinx, John Battagliese as Francis and Thomas Knapp as Smudge. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

PLAID TIDINGS presented by the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts through Dec. 21. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Sunday performance.

It’s all about the Plaids, ’bout the Plaids…no argyle.

For the holiday season, Cincinnati Landmark Productions has re-gifted the cast of The Showboat Majestic’s 2013 production of FOREVER PLAID, wrapped them in a bow, and delivered them to the Covedale Center stage for PLAID TIDINGS. Best. Re-gift. Ever.

Thomas Knapp as Smudge, John Battagliese as Francis & Charlie Meredith as Sparky. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Thomas Knapp as Smudge, John Battagliese as Francis & Charlie Meredith as Sparky. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

The Plaids are comprised of four UC College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Musical Theatre students. Seniors Tyler Huckstep as Jinx, Charlie Meredith as Sparky and Thomas Knapp as Smudge plus Junior John Battagliese as Francis. Individually, each member has their moment in the spotlight to showcase their great voices. But it is their incredible four-part harmonies that take the show to another level. It is also great to see their growth as actors since their first production together.

Charlie Meredith as Sparky & John Battagliese as Francis. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Charlie Meredith as Sparky & John Battagliese as Francis. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Music director Steve Goers returns with The Plaids, this time taking on the additional role of director. The show flows smoothly and the blocking creates some really nice stage pictures. I look forward to seeing Goers take on another show. The choreography by Patti James was fun, adding a nice touch to several of the numbers. My only complaint is that the pacing in Act I didn’t seem as tight as Act II at the matinee.

The set design by Brett Bowling worked well. I liked how the two side pieces and the central large arch helped pull the performance downstage and center, giving the big space an intimate feel. Technically, I thought the Perry Como video worked really well.

PLAID TIDINGS is a fun-filled, holiday treat. If you haven’t visited the Covedale yet, this production is definitely worth a trip to the west side.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5

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