Wednesday, April 4, 2012

As It Turns Out, Nothing Is Forever


By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

Wally Huffman (Frankie), Robert Newman (Smudge), Paul Stoops (Jinx) and John Mauldin (Sparky) take the stage for the last time Friday night. Photo by Willy Cook

The 14-year-run of the musical "Forever Plaid" came to an end this weekend with a packed house at Sun Valley Resort's Boiler Room.

The critically acclaimed review is an affectionate revival of the close-harmony "guy groups" that reached their height of popularity in the 1950s. In the story, a quartet of high school chums' dreams of recording an album ended in a collision with a bus filled with Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see The Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. The play begins with the Plaids returning from the afterlife for their final shot at musical glory.

The end of the show marks a retirement of sorts for Wally Huffman, the former Sun Valley Resort general manager who moonlighted as Frankie in the show. He will now being doing less of the day-to-day operations for the resort and more long-term development projects as well as trying to take the Plaids on the road.

The show has had several casts over the years, but the latest incarnation has been that of Huffman, John Mauldin as Sparky, Robert Newman as Smudge and Paul Stoops as Jinx. The four harmonize with songs like "Sixteen Tons" and "Love is a Many Splendored Thing."

Express photographer Roland Lane captured the behind-the-scenes moments of the last dress rehearsal for the show last Thursday, and Willy Cook was on hand for the action on closing night Friday.

Huffman said before the last performance, "None of us wants to do our last show, but we've probably done our run."




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