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Repertory Theatre brings '50s to the Firehouse stage

'Forever Plaid' and 'The Taffetas' playing alternate dates, Jan. 30 to Feb. 15

Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre (PCRT) continues its fifth season at the Firehouse Arts Center with a pairing of the classic 1950s musicals, "Forever Plaid" and "The Taffetas."

"Forever Plaid" tells the tale of four guys who share a love of the music of their idols: the Four Freshman, the Hi-Lo's and the Crew Cuts. Rehearsing in the basement of a plumbing supply company they become "Forever Plaid," and when they are killed in a car crash, they posthumously take the stage for one final gig. They squabble over the smallest intonations, and execute their outlandish choreography with over-zealous precision while performing the pop hits of the '50s.

"The Taffetas" takes place in 1950s Muncie, Ind., when the four singing Taffeta sisters are making their national debut appearance on the fictitious television show, "Spotlight on Music." The show pays fun-filled tribute to the sounds of the McGuire Sisters, the Fontane Sisters and the Chordettes.

"PCRT is the first theater company in the Bay Area to ambitiously stage the two productions together," said Joy Sherratt, one of the company's founders, who plays Peggy in "The Taffetas."

"Co-artistic directors David Judson and Pat Parr decided to offer a unique theater experience for the community of Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley area," she continued, noting that audiences "will be able to enjoy two completely different musicals filled with all of the '50s nostalgia and tunes that were embraced in that decade."

"Forever Plaid" opened Friday, Jan. 30, with "The Taffetas" following the next night, both at 8 p.m. The two shows will play in repertory (alternate dates) for the three-week run, giving fans plenty of options to see both.

The shows will alternate between matinee and evening performances, allowing audiences to take a dinner break downtown then return for the other production in the evening.

Both musicals are directed by PCRT founding member Scott Maraj and co-choreographed by Maraj and Jenna Harris. New York actor Adam Elsberry and Beach Blanket Babylon veteran Jessica Fisher are in the two professional casts.

Classic 1950s

What: "Forever Plaid" and "The Taffetas"

Who: Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre

Where: Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave.

When: Shows will alternate, Jan. 30 to Feb. 15

Tickets: $17-$38. Purchase online at www.firehousearts.org; by phone at 931-4848; or in person at the box office.

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