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6:56 AM Tue, Sept. 18th

Forever Plaid to reminisce with music of the '50s

Return to the worry-free days of high school in the 1950s with the music and comedy of Forever Plaid at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Yavapai College Performance Hall.

Forever Plaid will cover a wide range of popular 1950s music, such as "Catch a Falling Star," "Chain Gang," "Heart and Soul," "Sixteen Tons" and "Rags to Riches," to name but a few.

Forever Plaid was born when, once upon a time, four guys (Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie) who loved to sing, met in high school and joined the Audio Visual Club (1956).

They dreamed of becoming like their idols: The Four Aces, The Four Lads, The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo's and The Crew Cuts.

They rehearsed in the basement of Smudge's family plumbing supply company, where they became Forever Plaid – a name that connotes the continuation of traditional values, family, home and harmony.

Steve Gunderson, (Sparky), played Sparky in New York, San Diego, Atlanta, Las Vegas and numerous California companies of Forever Plaid. He co-authored Suds and starred in the New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto and Calgary productions.

He co-created and starred in Off-Broadway's critically acclaimed Back to Bacharach & David, as well as dozens of other roles throughout the country.

Kevin McMahon, (Jinx), comes directly to this production of Forever Plaid from the San Diego company. Other recent credits include "Titanic" at the South Bay cities and the Pasadena Playhouse.

In national tours, he was featured in "City of Angels," "The Fantasticks" and the Off-Broadway revival of "Little Moon of Alban."

His debut solo CD, "Mirror," is available at Amazon.com.

George Miserlis, (Smudge), performed opposite the original New York cast members of Forever Plaid at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills and has been in Forever Plaid throughout the greater Los Angeles area this past year.

Favorite stage credits include National Tours of "Evita," "Godspell," "The Odd Couple" (with Sandy Dennis and Kaye Ballard), and "The Lion in Winter" (with James Spader).

His film credits include "Seeds of Tragedy," "Desi and Lucy," and a leading role in the Paramount Pictures' feature film, "The Incredible Genie."

Rodney Peck, (Frankie), starred as a "Plaid" at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and has worked with casts in Las Vegas, North Carolina and Los Angeles.

Favorite regional theater credits include "Angels in America," "Crazy for You," "M. Butterfly," "Reckless," and the 1998 Ovation Award Winning Best Musical of the 20th century. His favorite film experience was working on "The Rainmaker" with Francis Ford Coppola.

He has published three educational books for elementary school reading levels and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Belize.

Colin Freeman, (piano), was educated in London and spent many years in the West End working on shows such as "Cats," "Chess," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Miss Saigon."

He was a broadcaster for the BBC and has performed before royalty.

Since 1992, Freeman has lived in the U.S. with his wife Lorna Luft, acting as her music director. He recently returned from Canada where he was working on the music for the upcoming mini-series "Me and My Shadows," based on his wife's best selling autobiography, for ABC television.

Director Larry Raben has been associated with Forever Plaid since its original New York Off-Broadway production.

Writer Stuart Ross directed the original New York production of Forever Plaid, as well as productions across America and Canada.

General admission: $22, students: $20, available in the community events office of the Yavapai College Performance Hall from 10 to 3 Monday through Saturday, or at the door prior to the performance. To order tickets by phone, call 776-2033.

This event is co-sponsored by KPPV 106.7 FM, KNOT 1450 AM, PACE (Performing Arts Charitable Endowment).