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Plaid Tidings


THUNDER BAY, ON   -----   December 8, 2010   ---It was the first visit of the extra-terrestrial Plaids that convinced me that  Thunder Bay's Magnus is a good thing for the community. I guess part of the revelation came about because the first show was better than the hype so it easily exceeded expectations. Whenever something like that happens you have a happy audience.

Now that the “Plaids” have returned for a second visit, can they have to live up to the high standard of the first performance, and having seen the first on I knew this crew would have their work cut out for them.

Nobody knows the inner workings of Magnus Theatre like Mario Crudo, often other directors come to do a production. So it is a treat to have a master assemble the talent on stage. This is the second musical production at Magnus this season and it comes in time for the Christmas season. Mario remembered the success of the original production and eagerly went about making plans to bring “Plaid Tidings” to Thunder Bay. He began by assembling an incredibly talented team, Danny Johnson serves as music director, while Jade Elliott, Chad McManmara, Jeff Moulton and Adam Stevenson make up the members of the Plaids, a 1950’s concert quartet whose promising career was cut short by a traffic tragedy.

“Plaid Tidings” is a show in the best sense of the word. It is an entertainment, with lots of plaid puns and jokes. There is lots of colour on stage and the music and the visual aspect of the production work well together to put people in the holiday mood. It worked for me and I felt a lot better for having seen the show.

This production of the “Plaids” pulls out all the stops a modern theatre can use. Mario made use of the fly tower more than I have seen in recent years.  The use of digital realizations was good for a few laughs and it make it possible for the Plaids to sing with Perry Como, as seen through a 50” 1950’s style TV.  Brilliant lighting by Travis Hatt makes the visual presentation more vivid. The work of Mervi Agombar as Costume designer is appreciated as her costumes enhance the visual presence and there is sufficient change to keep the fast paced show interesting.

This is a production that will live up to its advertising, the music is good, the theatrical presentation is first rate and you come knowing that Shakespeare did not write the plot. IT is a show and an entertainment, which I completely enjoyed. The show runs through until Saturday December 11th. Tickets are from $14.75 to $38.50. Discover Theatre in Thunder Bay bring a friend out and get a head start on the Christmas season at Magnus Theatre. Call the box office at 345-5552 for tickets.

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor:
Photo: Barry Wojechowski

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