The Plaids are Back! Heritage Theatre Festival Celebrates One of the Most Popular Shows in its History with the Return of 'Forever Plaid'

July 7, 2008 – You asked. We listened. They’re back!

The Plaids, that is … Heritage Theatre Festival is celebrating the return of one of the most popular shows in its long history with the beloved musical comedy "Forever Plaid," opening July 16 in the Helms Theatre.

The Plaids were on their way to a really big show when they ran smack into a bus full of Catholic schoolgirls who are on their way to THE really big show … The Beatles on Ed Sullivan! The collision would have forever silenced the group's heavenly harmonies if not for a touch of divine intervention that gave them one more chance to give the show of a lifetime before punching their tickets to eternity.

According to "Forever Plaid" director Renee Dobson, the timing could not be better for a show that lets audiences forget their troubles for at least as long as the stage lights shine. "This is absolutely a wonderful sort of escapist evening," said Dobson. "Whatever is going on in your life, you come in and hear this incredible hit parade of classic tunes, one upbeat number after another, and presented with a great amount of humor." The show's '50s and '60s setting only adds to the experience, Dobson said. "There is an aspect of this show that really reminds people of an age of innocence in America and allows them to go back to a time where there was such purity of heart in this country."

The show's innocence also makes it a natural draw for families, Dobson said. "This is a show that appeals to the young and the young at heart. For the young at heart, it's a nostalgic journey back to the hit parade of songs, including "Three Coins in a Fountain," "Catch a Falling Star" and "Rags to Riches" that were part of the soundtrack of their youth. And the show provides a great way to share these tunes and these times with the next generation in an evening that is fun, funny and appropriate for all."

"Forever Plaid" marks Dobson's second directing stint at Heritage, as she follows-up her smash-hit production of "Nunsense" in 2006.  Heritage audiences also know her from her starring role as Rose in "Gypsy." For her, it is all part of the magic of the medium she loves the best. "There is nothing I enjoy more than directing something that can send audiences out the door with great smiles on their faces and great love in their hearts. It's very special to me when, even for a short time, I can be part of something that makes people feel so good and happy."

"Forever Plaid" will run July 16-19, 21-26, 29-31 and Aug. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helms Theatre with 2 p.m. matinee performances on Saturday, July 26 and Aug. 2. Tickets are $31 for adults, $26 for seniors and U.Va. faculty and staff and $15 for students. They are available in person at the Heritage Box Office on Culbreth Road and by phone at 434-924-3376. 

For additional ticket information, production photos and details on the 2008 season, visit

The 2008 Heritage Theatre Festival season will conclude its summer season with the six-time Tony Award-winning musical "The Light in the Piazza" from July 23 through Aug. 2 in the Culbreth Theatre.

The new Culbreth Road Parking Garage is free for all audience members, and its close proximity to the theatres makes Heritage the area’s most accessible performing arts venues.