Forever Plaid - West Valley City Arts - 2019

Forever Plaid, 20 years after I was first in it

I know this is after the fact, but I figured I ought to post about my experience in Forever Plaid this summer.

I was approached in April by my good friend, Kelly Griffiths, about being one of the four guys in a production of Forever Plaid that West Valley Arts was producing in the Harman Theatre, the old Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City.

I was hesitant because of our basement finishing project, which I’ve been working on since November, but I ultimately said yes.

Right after Vickey and I were married in 1999, I played Jinx — the first tenor — in a dinner theater production of Forever Plaid at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. I’ve loved the show ever since.

Kelly convinced me the show wouldn’t require too much rehearsal because all four of the guys are experienced performers and three of us have been in Forever Plaid before. But, I was the only one who was in the show who had to learn a new part. I played Smudge, the bass.

That shows you what a difference 20 years make. If you know this vocal score, it’s demanding. And to perform both the first tenor and the bass part is a challenge.

I have to say, it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed getting to know Mark Gurney and Ben Plowman. Kelly and those guys went to school and graduated high school together. I was the old man of the group, nine years their senior.

Still, we managed to perform from June 19th to the 26th (except for Sunday) with plenty of energy and commitment. It was awesome to sing the songs, perform, do the choreography, etc. I had a blast.

When my family came to see it, from what I’m told, Ellie and Dominic were mostly embarrassed. Dominic told me this would probably be my last show because it made me so tired and I was so old. Ha!

Vickey was a trooper and came to the show a couple of times, including on the night of our 20th wedding anniversary — June 26, 2019. We celebrated by going out to brunch the day before, but we’re still cooking up a trip somewhere to celebrate the milestone.

Forever Plaid has always been one of my favorite Broadway shows. It was a privilege and pleasure to perform in it once more. Thanks, Kelly, for not giving up on me.

Someday, I’ll get back to the basement project.

Forever Plaid - West Valley City - 2019
The Plaids: Mark Gurney, Kelly Griffiths, Pete Codella, Ben Plowman,
with our director, Margene Conde, and assistant director, Kenny Nakashima.


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