Cabrillo College drama students Max Bennett-Parker (from left), Tad Kistner, Billy James Robinson and Scott Kowaleski are joined by director Andrew Ceglio Friday in a rehearsal for “Forever Plaid,” a musical comedy to be staged at Cabrillo College in Aptos.
An actor is changing roles to become a first-time director and choreographer for Cabrillo Stage on upcoming performances of “Forever Plaid,” the musical theater group’s new production.
Cabrillo Stage is a professional musical theater company that performs annually on the Cabrillo College campus. Andrew Ceglio is working with the cast for his first time directing and choreographing for Cabrillo Stage.
“There is a lot to the show,” Ceglio said. “The actors show very human aspects that the characters go through — like sacrifice, love, friendship and fear.”
The critically acclaimed show is an affectionate revue of the close-harmony “guy groups” that reached the height of their popularity during the 1950s. “Forever Plaid,” originally produced by Stuart Ross, is about four young men who form a 1950s-style vocal quartet and are soon killed by a busfull of Catholic teens while en route to their first big concert. It is at the moment when their careers and lives end that the story of “Forever Plaid” starts. The play begins with the Plaids returning from the afterlife for one final chance at musical glory.
Ceglio has formerly been an actor on the Cabrillo stage as Seymour in last year’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” as well as playing a beanstalk in the 2002 production of “Some Like It Hot.”
A four-person cast of “Forever Plaid” consists of singers, musicians, dancers and actors who have only been working on the production for about 20 days, since May 25.
“I’m working with very well-rounded actors who are being asked to stretch out their talents in this show,” Ceglio said.
Along with learning all the lines and choreography, actors Tad Kistner, Billy James Robinson, Max Bennett-Parker and Scott Kowaleski also sing four-part harmonies and play their own instruments in the show.
“It is pretty ambitious, but the caliber of talent we have has made it possible to go above and beyond,” Ceglio said.
The first act of “Forever Plaid” runs approximately one hour, and the second act is only 35-40 minutes long.
“This way it touches on great moments quickly,” Ceglio said. “That is why precision is a huge part of the show, making sure every minute detail is perfect.”
“Forever Plaid,” an off-Broadway musical written in New York in 1990, is now performed internationally.
Performances begin on June 27 and run until July 27 in the Erica Schilling Forum.
Ceglio plans to return to his roots and appear as King Herod in Cabrillo’s next production, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” set to debut on July 11.
Cabrillo Stage, now in its 27th year, is noted for innovative sets, beautiful costumes, an outstanding pit orchestra and talented, professional performers.
Tickets for performances are available at the Cabrillo Stage Box Office Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The public can also purchase tickets online at www.cabrillostage.com or by phone at 479-6145. General seating is $26 for adults, $23 for seniors age 60 and over, and $20 for children age 6-12. Student Rush tickets are available for Thursday nights only for $10 with a valid student ID.
*First photo by Eliza Cole, second photo courtesy*
(Published in 6/10/08 edition)
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