Sometimes things are just meant to be. The first time veteran director Barbara Cullen walked onto the 's stage, she thought it was the perfect setup for Stuart Ross' musical Forever Plaid.
Fast-forward two years, and Cullen is poised to direct the show for the fourth time in her career during its run at the Encore, beginning April 21.
Forever Plaid follows the story of a quartet of high school friends who are killed in a collision with a bus full of Catholic school girls on their way to see The Beatles' American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Each member of the quartet is sent back to Earth for one final performance to fulfill his dreams.
"It's a very heartfelt story about guys and friendship," Cullen said. "They have a dream and get to achieve their dreams and goals. You'll laugh and cry; the story has everything."
"The writer (Ross) did an amazing job," Cullen said. "He put everything together brilliantly, creating great characters."
The characters are great enough, in fact, for Broadway's Leo Daignault, who plays Jinx, to have been cast in 2,500 performances as the same character in his career. Daignault lives in New York but is originally from Westland.
The actor said he is excited to be back in Michigan to spend some time with his family.
With two professionals so eager to bring their vast experience with Forever Plaid to the stage again, this has the making of a show that can't be missed.
Performances begin April 21 and run through May 15. The Encore’s popular Cabaret Night will take place May 14 following that evening's 8 p.m. performance. Cabaret Night features members of the cast singing some of their favorite tunes from Broadway and beyond. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served, along with lots of fun and laughs.
Tickets for all performances are on sale now and may be purchased online at theencoretheatre.org or by calling 734-268-6200.