Tribute to ’50s Hits in "Forever Plaid" at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Aug. 19-28

By Wendy Humphrey
West Windsor, N.J. —Shore Repertory Theatre Company will make its first appearance ever at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre with the hit Off-Broadway musical revue, "Forever Plaid." Recipient of the 2009 New Jersey Association of Community Theaters "Perry" Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the company presents six performances: Fridays, August 19 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, August 20 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, August 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is conveniently located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night show on Aug. 19.
Written by Stuart Ross, the hilarious and charming show takes audiences on a trip to Fiftiesville with Sparky, Jinx, Smudge and Frankie, a fictional 1950’s guy group.  Tragically struck down in a car crash before their first major gig, "The Plaids" will come back to earth to take the stage one last time.
“This is a musical for all ages to enjoy and experience together," Producer Jan Topoleski says.  "For many people, the music will evoke fond memories of the 1950’s. Others will discover this genre for the very first time. The songs are elegantly arranged in tight, slick four-part harmony. What really wins people’s hearts, though, are the characters performing the work."
The show features many top songs from the 50’s hits chart, including "Lady of Spain," "Three Coins in the Fountain," "Heart and Soul," "Sixteen Tons," "Catch a Falling Star" and "Shangri-La."  The Plaids will also perform romantic ballads such as "Moments to Remember," as well as pure comedy such as "The Ed Sullivan Show in Three Minutes and 11 Seconds," featuring impersonations of José Jimenez, the Singing Nun and Judy Garland.
“Forever Plaid” stars Jan Topoleski of Brick as Frankie; Joseph Zachowksi of Turnersville as Sparky; Joseph Ficarra of Beachwood as Smudge; and Matthew Rae of Wayne as Jinx. It is directed and choreographed by 2009 Perry award winner Gina Lupi of Freehold and musically directed by 2009 Perry award winner Tony Didia of Toms River.                                                                                                                                      
Tickets are $16 for adults; $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website.
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