The conclusion of an experience as epic as college may seem like it can never really arrive, yet the old saying holds true: "All good things must come to an end." Such was the case this past weekend at the Alice Austin Theatre, where the (soon-to-be-graduating) singing quartet NARD put on its final Geneseo production: Forever Plaid. The group, composed of seniors Nick Moran, Alex MacDonald, Rob Line and Dave Gordon, was assisted by vocal miscellany Director Alan Case on piano and sophomore John Snyder on cello. NARD's impressive blending of comedy and song truly made for one of the most enjoyable nights of musical entertainment at Geneseo this year.
The musical's plot dealt with four members of a deceased barbershop quartet called The Plaids who find themselves suddenly brought back to earth to continue the show they never got to complete in life. Forever Plaid featured multiple upbeat songs from 1950s American culture and other eras, including material by Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, which NARD performed quite impressively. This musical truly gave the members a valuable chance to showcase each of their unique voices, reminding listeners why they have faithfully attended their shows for the past four years.
Besides a professional musical performance, NARD incorporated many elements of comedy into the show as well. The song "Crazy 'Bout Ya Baby" by The Crew-Cuts featured the members using long plungers as makeshift "microphones."
The most hilarious segment by far, however, was Forever Plaid's calypso medley. Fake palm trees, beach scenes and monkeys appeared on stage, as NARD paraded out into the audience leading one of the rows in a conga line around the theatre. Such amusing aspects of NARD's production of Forever Plaid showed that the group continues to retain its brilliant sense of humor and knack for consistently successful entertainment even in the dusk of the members' college experience.
The show ended with a few comments from Line (in character) on the unforgettable experience of being part of a singing group as close-knit as The Plaids, and the sad realization that it must, at last, finish its final show. Such sentiments certainly captured the real feelings of NARD, which ended the performance with an emotional rendition of "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" by Frank Sinatra. As the members of NARD returned to the stage for their final bows, they were met with cheers from the audience as well as a standing ovation.
Forever Plaid was a very successful musical production and allowed NARD to end its Geneseo career on an unforgettable note. More information about the group can be found at geneseo.edu/~dgg2/NARD/.