By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Nostalgic tunes and tones at Riverside
Academys musical Forever Plaid a whimsical look at lifes do-over

Riverside Military Academy's Fall Musical ‘Forever Plaid'

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Saturday

Where: Sandy Beaver Center, Riverside Military Academy campus

Tickets: Free admission

More info: 770-532-6251

There are all too many moments in life that spark remorse and cause a person to say, "if only I could go back and do it differently ..."

Tonight, four Riverside Military Academy drama students will hang up their combat boots and show audiences what it would be like to have the chance of a lifetime when they go back to the one moment that changed their lives, and relive it differently.

With a heartwarming and comical rendition of "Forever Plaid," RMA's drama department will take you back to the good ol' days when singers harmonized instead of synthesized and wore suits instead of ... whatever it is they wear nowadays.

"‘Forever Plaid' is an exaggeration of the wonderful do-overs that we sometimes get in our lifetime," said Leanne Kinney, the director. "The characters are given the chance to do the show they never got to do, and in the process, they realize that it was the rehearsals, not the big performance, that made their lives special."

Forever Plaid is Riverside's fall musical and Georgia High School Association's One-Act Competition play, where high schools from Georgia come together to compete for a shot at going to state.

"Two factors brought this show to us," said Kinney. "First, we are competing in the One-Act Competition for the first time in recent memory.

Therefore, all of the players must be RMA students, so we had to find an all-male show.

"Second, the chorus spawned a successful quartet in the spring - it just seemed like the perfect mix for us."

"Forever Plaid" features a high school quartet with the high hopes of recording an album. They tragically die in a car crash before reaching their dream, but have the chance to relive their glory days posthumously.

"We lack experience and polish at this stage in our development, but our students never cease to amaze me," Kinney said. "Audiences are invariably impressed, and sometimes surprised, by the boys' ability to give them an honest, fearless show. What they lack in experience, they make up in ingenuity."

"Forever Plaid" fills its audience's ears with music from the late 1950s and early '60s.

"They sing songs by the Crew Cuts, the Four Aces, the Lettermen and the Four Lads, among others," Kinney said. "It is the innocent, family-friendly music of the era of ‘Leave it To Beaver,' ‘Ozzie and Harriet' and ‘Father Knows Best.'"

Though a quality play, Kinney will not be charging for admission.

"For the time being, I am carrying on the tradition of not charging for admission," she said. "Our vice president of development would be happy to talk to anyone who wishes to make a donation to the department or our school."

Kinney came to RMA in December 2007 and teaches both chorus and drama.

"Our facilities are among the best I've ever seen, which makes my job much more pleasant," she said. "The administration, faculty and staff are incredibly supportive of the fine arts, and that makes my job much less stressful. At the end of the day, our cadets make the job worthwhile. They almost always send me home laughing."

While the boys will be performing the same play tonight and Saturday, the audiences will be quite different both days.

"Our corps of cadets will attend on Thursday. Those who like an energetic audience will enjoy this performance," Kinney said. "We expect a more intimate group of family and friends on Saturday for those who like a quieter bunch."

While there are many quality drama departments nearby, Kinney believes her students are one-of-a-kind.

"These students are special. The military school schedule keeps them busy from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.," she said. "I am proud to also point out that our sound and lights are also entirely run by our students. When I was a student in this community, my teachers and directors gave me ownership of big jobs. It is a valuable part of the educational process."

All are invited to enjoy Forever Plaid cost and regret-free. Don't leave yourself saying "If only I had gone" on Sunday.