The Sound of Plaid: The Glee Club Version of Forever Plaid
The cult hit is brilliantly rearranged for high schools and glee clubs to allow for larger cast sizes.
Show Essentials
22
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

A pianist dressed in formal attire walks across the stage to the piano. Fog and changing lights indicate that the audience is being transported to an otherworldly place. A voiceover explains that, on February 9, 1964, the Pleasantdale High School Glee Club – known as The Sound of Plaid – was on its way to the club's first big gig at the Allegheny Monongahela Valley Civic Center. Unfortunately, a school bus filled with girls from Our Lady of Harrisburg, on its way to see the American TV debut of the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," crashed into The Sound of Plaid's bus. The Our Lady of Harrisburg students were fine... but not The Sound of Plaid.

There's thunder and lightning. The cast, wearing white dinner jackets, walks through the audience from the back of the house, chanting and carrying candles ("Deus Ex Plaid"). The Plaids realize that they're back on Earth after being suspended in limbo for decades. Since they're in a theatre, they obviously need to perform, but they haven't sung in so long that they're nervous about it. Some of them want to leave, but Mr. Bodine insists that they've gotten the chance of a lifetime, and they can't walk away from it. Miss Fairfax adds that they only have two hours to complete their mission. After finding their old equipment, the Plaids start to come around. The voiceover wonders what happens when unfinished lives are cut shortL perhaps they wander forever, coming back to the world of the living to provide harmony and to support arts programs. The Plaids get ready for their concert; Mr. Bodine and Miss Fairfax remind them that, if they stop the show for any reason, they'll be stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead forever. During the concert, Mr. Bodine conducts, and Miss Fairfax assists by turning pages and making sure the Plaids are professional. They start the show as a group ("Three Coins in the Fountain").

Mr. Bodine introduces himself as the assistant principal of Pleasantdale High School. Miss Fairfax introduces herself, too; she was subbing for the music teacher on the day of the crash, so she's just here to help Mr. Bodine. Sparky then comes forward to introduce the Plaids. They never got to do this concert while they were alive, so this is their chance to do the concert that they would have done if they had lived. The Plaids quickly step forward, one by one, to state their names. They are clearly uncomfortable on stage and try to get themselves together in the next umber ("Gotta Be This or That / Undecided").

The Plaids try to determine if it's going well, as they start to feel more comfortable. Francis thanks the audience for letting them do this concert. When Francis opens a formal wear catalogue, Gilda is overcome with emotion because they were killed before they got to pick up their tuxedos and concert gowns. Lilith dedicates the next number to anyone who's been to a prom ("Moments to Remember").

As their memories come back, the rest of the Plaids get emotional, as well. Mr. Bodine reminds them that they need to keep going with the concert and hurries them along to the next number, which also serves as a way to cheer them up; Miss Fairfax explains that they are performing with plungers instead of microphones because they rehearsed it in a broom closet ("Crazy 'bout Ya Baby").

Afterwards, Gilda and Jinx stumble through banter while Mr. Bodine and Miss Fairfax put the plungers back. They try to talk about love with some of the other Plaids, but none of them can even say the word. Gladys says that they were all too busy with school and extracurriculars to have time for love, especially with Mr. Bodine drilling them for their college entrance exam. The Plaids and Mr. Bodine then illustrate the drills ("The Osterizer School of Harmony Theory").

Once they're done goofing around, Miss Fairfax encourages them to sing an actual love song. Sparky has one in mind, and the Plaids dive in ("No Not Much"). During the applause, the Plaids experience some physical difficulties: Jinx has a nosebleed and Lilith has an asthma attack. Miss Fairfax tends to the wounded, but the show must go on or The Plaids will be stuck in limbo. This threat is heightened by a lightning strike that blows out the power. Mr. Bodine and two students leave to look for flashlights and an emergency generator.

With Miss Fairfax helping sick students, the only students who are healthy enough – and reliable enough – to keep the show going are the twins, Smudge and Corrine. They're not crazy about the idea, but not having much choice, they take over emcee duty. They show the audience a suitcase that is filled with the only things that they were allowed to take with them after their death: props, the bass charts and their record collection. Smudge tells the audience that, when he and Corrine were little, their parents opened a diner with insurance money from an accident. Their sitter was off on Wednesday nights, so the two of them hung around the diner, waiting for the jukebox lady to give them the old records that people weren't listening to anymore. Smudge and Corrine would obsess over the records and the jukebox itself. They show the audience the album covers that they used to make, hoping that they'd have actual records to sell in them one day.

Just then, the lights come back, revealing that Mr. Bodine and Miss Fairfax are necking, and that the other Plaids are in mild chaos. Nevertheless, it's time to get back to the show. The Plaids explain that, because they didn't have experience with love themselves, they attached meaning to the next song by thinking about their teachers and imagining those teachers' first names were Perfidia ("Perfidia").

Next, it's Jinx's turn for his part of the show, but he's afraid that he won't remember it. Francis reminds him how it starts, and Jinx performs his solo amazingly ("Cry"). Smudge then tries to do his bit, but he feels sick, so Corrine takes over ("Sixteen Tons / Chain Gang").

Mr. Bodine and Miss Fairfax acknowledge the work that the Plaids have put into the club. No matter how busy they were, nights and weekends were devoted to The Sound of Plaid. Mr. Bodine even made up business cards for them. The Plaids explain that, had they been around longer, they would have been happy to work at the audience member's private functions – weddings, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. ("The Catering Drill / She Loves You"). Energized, The Plaids go calypso for their final number of the act ("Caribbean Plaid").

Act Two

The Plaids return to find three ladders onstage – they assume that the crew forgot to remove them. Some of them sit on the ladders while others take stools or spots on the edge of the stage; they get back to the show, aware that time is growing short ("Sh-Boom").

Mary Agnes shares some news articles about the Plaids while the students remove the ladders. Tony and Betty then tell everyone about the time that they met Rosemary Clooney and Perry Como and tricked them into watching their performance ("The Golden Cardigan / Catch a Falling Star / Hey There / Mambo"). At the end of the song, the pianist nonchalantly gets up and walks offstage. Mr. Bodine explains that the pianist is on his union break. Cliff is pushed to the piano and plays a well-known favorite. They then bring an audience member up on stage to perform the melody line with Cliff ("Heart and Soul").

The pianist comes back onstage. Jinx and Sparky, who are stepbrothers, and Mitzi, their foreign exchange student, share what Sunday nights at their house used to be like; the family was always fighting, but they stopped at 8 pm on Sundays for "The Ed Sullivan Show." The Plaids recreate the show, with Mr. Bodine serving as Ed Sullivan. The Plaids recreate a car commercial ("Mercury") and then go into a number that they might have performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" ("Lady of Spain").

Mr. Bodine explains that, while the Plaids can be silly, they take being Plaids very seriously. To demonstrate this, The Plaids put on their official Scottish Plaids Clothes ("Scotland the Brave"). An usher brings a large box to the stage; in it are the tuxedos and formal dresses that they never got to wear. The Plaids realize that, with these clothes, they could have plaid anywhere ("Shangri-La / Rags to Riches"). Mr. Bodine tries to get them to set up for the finale, but none of the students move; they want to stay, and they figure that, if they don't finish the song, they won't have to go back. Miss Fairfax reminds the Plaids that, even though their lives were short, they did a lot of good. Moreover, their music will last forever, even though the Plaids themselves have died. Mr. Bodine backs her up. Everyone makes his or her decision to finish by performing the final number ("Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"). When the song is over, the cast is in a golden glow; then the lights go dark. A moon appears before silhouettes of the Plaids appear against the moon and they rise up to heaven.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Francis
The asthmatic, confident leader of Group One. He is always taking care of his fellow Plaids and has a great deal of humility and compassion for the music and the group.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D2
Sparky
The comic engine and showman of Group One. He loves to tell stories and crack jokes, even though he has a slight speech impediment from a retainer. An encounter with Mr. "C" softens him up.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D2
Jinx
The shy and terrified member of Group One and Sparky's step-brother. Coming from a life of being abused, he is able to transform "Cry" into a confident star.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: D2
Smudge
The worrier of Group One with a chronic nervous stomach. He is initially very reluctant to perform, but by the end of the show he has stage presence, musical prowess, and good looks.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: C2
Alice Fairfax
A substitute teacher, filling in for the music teacher on the day of the concert. Demure, under-confident, and lost, she has never been one for commitment. Finds a new life with the Plaids.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Otto Bodine
Assistant principal of the school. He has a low self-esteem from being disliked his entire life. Though he is clumsy, he has a good heart.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Tony
A member of Group Two and Italian "Fonzie" type. Girl-crazy who thinks he's tough, but possesses a good heart.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: D2
Perry
A member of Group Two. Very earnest and sincere, he is a skilled musician who cares about keeping his group together.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D2
Adella
A very quick and hyper member of Group Two. She has a very short attention span and is always looking for a place to crack a joke.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: B2
Mary Agnes
A member of Group Two, she is very confused and dyslexic. Always in a fog. She is a bit of a God-fearing pessimist.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Gilda
A member of Group Three. Sultry and dramatic. Everything is mysterious to her, which allows her to flaunt her hair excessively.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: G#5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Dolores
The tough gal member of Group Three. Very sporty, she's out to have fun and has a big temper.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Betty
A member of Group Three, she likes to laugh and find the humor in any situation. Very eager about the show and what it means to her.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Corrine
A member of Group Three and Smudge's twin sister. She shares her brother's anxieties, insecurity, and dyslexia, but she forges ahead.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Connie
A member of Group Four. She has the potential of being the "loose one" of the group, but it turns out to be all of an act.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: G#5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Rhoda
A naive and faithful member of Group Four. She is very true to the cause, but likes to blend into the background.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Mitzi
The foreign exchange student, bunking with Jinx and Sparky, and a member of Group Four. Her home country now disbanded, she loves America and finds everything about life exciting.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Lilith
A member of Group Four with severe allergies. She has very low self-esteem and doubts anyone likes her, though she comes into her own with "Rags and Riches."
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Gladys
An extremely shy member of Group Four. She is very smart and ahead of the others, but has to overcome her fear of performing and learn to sing out.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ira Schwinn
Very smart and shrewd. An overly-zealous supervisor, he is always fact checking.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: D2
Lionel Dubois
The true chatterbox. A little spacey and distracted, it takes a while to stop him talking.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: D2
Cliff
The deaf-mute choreographer of the group who communicates through sign language. A dedicated, inspirational, and happy person.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 20
Full Song List
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Deus Ex Plaid
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: What Happens
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Three Coins In The Fountain
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Gotta Be This Or That/Undecided
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Moments To Remember
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Crazy 'Bout Ya Baby
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Osterizer School Of Harmonic Theory
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: No, Not Much
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Perfidia
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Cry
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Sixteen Tons/Chain Gang
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: The Catering Drill/She Loves You
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Caribbean Plaid
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Sh-Boom
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: The Golden Cardigan
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Catch A Falling Star/Hey There/Mambo
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Heart And Soul
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Mercury
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Lady Of Spain
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Scotland The Brave
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Shangri La/Rags To Riches
Sound Of Plaid: Forever Plaid: Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Show History

Inspiration

Drawing inspiration from Forever Plaid, the four-man musical that has become a huge hit around the world and a favorite among audiences everywhere, Stuart Ross created The Sound of Plaid, which provides high schools and glee clubs a chance to take on the Plaids. Managing to be both old and new at the same time, The Sound of Plaid builds upon the characters and songs from Forever Plaid and features a flexible cast size made up of both male and female performers.

Productions

With a book by Stuart Ross and music by various artists, The Sound of Plaid: The Glee Club Version of Forever Plaid builds on the original story and songs of Forever Plaid and makes it more accessible for high schools and glee clubs alike.

The Sound of Plaid first began at NYU's CAP 21 in 2005 as a workshop, under the direction of Drew Garaci. It then had its world premiere at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in October of 2008, under the direction of Holly Stanfield. This particular production was then invited to perform for a wider audience at the 2008/2009 International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Following this premiere The Sound of Plaid became licensable and has gone on to great success in educational settings throughout the country.

Critical Reaction

"A premise so goofy, so absurd it actually is fun... has a lot of heart."
– Homer News

"Wonderful songs."
– The Examiner

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
THE SOUND OF PLAID
(100%)
(The New Glee Club version of Forever Plaid)
BY
STUART ROSS
(50%)
 
Original Forever Plaid Musical Continuity and arrangements by
James Raitt
(37.5%)
 
Musical Continuity and arrangements Adapted by
Raymond Berg
(25%)
 
Additional Arrangements and Music Supervision by
David Snyder
(25%)
 
The SOUND OF PLAID first Presented at The Buckley School, California
(25%)
 
Licensee further agrees to insert in each program of the Play the credit line for each of the compositions and the program notes as described below.
 
THE SONGS
 
ANNIVERSARY SONG
Written by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin.
MCMXLVI Mood Music Co. Inc., New York New York.
Copyright renewed. Worldwide Copyright Administrator:
Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. Used by permission.
 

CATCH A FALLING STAR
Written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.
Used by permission of Emily Music Corp.
 

CHAIN GANG
Written by Sam Cooke.
Published by Abkco Music, Inc. Used by permission.
 

CRAZY 'BOUT YA BABY
Written by Pat Barret and Rudi Maugeri.
Used by permission of Wanessa Music Production, Co.
 

CRY
Written by Churchill Kohlman.
MCMLI Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., New York, NY.
Copyright renewed. Used by permission.
 

DAY-O
Written by Erik Darling, Bob Carey and Alan Arkin.
Used by permission of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc.
 

DREAM ALONG WITH ME
Written by Carl Sigman.
Used by permission of Major Songs Co.
 

GOTTA BE THIS OR THAT
Written by Sonny Skylar.
Used by permission of Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP),
copyright owner.
 

HEART AND SOUL
Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser.
Used by permission of Famous Music Corp.
 

HEY THERE
Written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.
Used by Permission of J & J Ross Co and Lakshimi
Published by The Songwriters Guild
Arranged by Raymond Berg
 

JAMAICA FAREWELL
Written by Lord Burgess.
Used by permission of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc.
 

KINGSTON MARKET
Written by Irving Burgie.
Used by permission of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc.
 

LADY OF SPAIN
Written by Robert Hargreaves, Tolchard Evans,
Stanley J. Damerell and Henry Tilsley.
Used by Permission of Sam Fox Publishing Co., Inc.
 

LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING
Written by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain.
Used by permission of EMI Miller Catalog Inc.
 

MAGIC MOMENTS
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Used by permission of Famous Music Corp.
 

MAMBO ITALIANO
Written by Bob Merrill
Published by Golden Bell Songs
Arranged by Raymond Berg
 

MATILDA
Written by Harry Thomas.
Used by permission of MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc.
 

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER
Written by Al Stillman and Robert Allen.
Used by permission of Larry Spier, Inc.
 

NO, NOT MUCH
Written by Al Stillman and Robert Allen.
Used by permission of Kitty Anne Music.
 

PAPA LOVES TO MAMBO
Written by Al Hoffman, Dick Mannning and Bix Reichner.
MCMLIV Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. New York, NY.
Used by permission.
 

PERFIDIA
Written by Milton Leeds and Alberto Dominguez.
Used by permission of Peer International Corp.
 

RAGS TO RICHES
Written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.
Used by permission of Major Songs Co.
 

SHANGRI-LA
Written by Carl Sigman, Matt Malneck and Robert Maxwell.
Used by permission of EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
 

SHE LOVES YOU
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Used by permission of Gil Music Corp.
 

SING TO ME MR. C
Written by Charles Ray.
Used by permission of Roncorn Music Company.
 

SIXTEEN TONS
Written by Merle Travis.
Used by permission of Unichappel Music Inc.
 

TEMPTATION
Written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown.
Used by permission of EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
 

THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
Written by Ennio Morricone.
Used by permission of EMI Unart Catalog Inc.
 

THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
Used by permission of WB Music Corp. and Chappell & Co.
 

UNDECIDED
Written by Sid Robbin and Charles Shavers.
Used by permission of MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc.
 

SH BOOM
Published by Warner/Unichappell Music, Inc.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK26
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMS