LOGAN – After a six-month hiatus due to the coronavirus, Cache Valley’s normally vibrant musical theater scene will resume in mid-September.
The local Music Theatre West company will present two small-cast musical reviews in repertory at the Ellen Eccles Theatre Sept. 18 to 26.
Those productions will be the hugely popular “Forever Plaid” and the less-often-seen “The Taffetas.”
Music Theatre West is best known for superb productions of traditional large-scale musicals like “The Music Man” and “Annie” during its 2019-20 season. The choice of these small-cast shows, however, was obviously intended to simplify the process of rehearsing and performing while maintaining social distancing.
“Forever Plaid” was developed by Stuart Ross as a nostalgia-drenched tribute to those clear-cut, close-harmony guy groups that dominated America’s pop music scene in the early 1960s prior to the game-changing British Invasion. The off-Broadway review highlights the talents of four ghostly high-school chums who return from the afterlife for the farewell concert they never performed.
Originally developed as a New York cabaret show, “The Taffetas” has a similar one-shot-at-glory plot paying tribute to the sound of all-female ensembles of the early 1950s like “The Mcguire Sisters,” “The Fontaine Sisters” and “The Chordettes.”
Performing these shows on alternating evenings not only gives Music Theatre West the opportunity to fully showcase the talents of both its male and female performers, but also provides a nice contrast between the differing musical styles of the two reviews.
The score of “Forever Paid” is made up of strictly of pop music hits of the 1950s and 1960s, including “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “No, Not Much,” “Chain Gang,” “Rags to Riches” and “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.” By contrast, “The Taffetas” features songs by various artist of the 1950s, plus comedic numbers written specifically for the review.
Ticket availability for both shows will be limited due to the necessity of maintaining social distancing within the Eccles Theatre, according to Wendi Hassan, the executive director of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.
A separate entrance that by-passes the theater’s lobby will be available for attendees who feel the need to take special precautions to avoid public groups.
The wearing of face coverings will also be required, due to Logan’s citywide mask mandate.