Plaid Tidings

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Not to be a Scrooge, but I didn't feel much holiday cheer at the premiere of Plaid Tidings, the remixed seasonal edition of Forever Plaid. The material is too jumbled to build any momentum, while the Christmas veneer undermines many of the charms that made the original a perennial favorite across the decades. In this version, our late vocal quartet gets yet another chance to return to Earth and perform a show. But what is that show supposed to be about? The lads, never the brightest bulbs, take a numbing amount of time to work out that it's to spread holiday cheer to the audience. They do this with snatches of seasonal favorites and altered bits from the original show, from a now-seasonal calypso to their tale of meeting idol Perry Como. That leads to a clever bit—singing only the backup parts, leaving long pauses for the leads—into a somewhat off-putting "duet" with a video of the sweater-loving crooner that has all the charm of Natalie Cole's creepy duets with her father. The talented quartet of performers—from Chanhassen veterans to Justin Cooke, who is only a couple of years removed from high school—brings the vocal goods and provides occasional highlights throughout the evening. Still, Plaid Tidings feels like so many sequels—an unnecessary return journey that can't recapture what made the original special. Following the holidays, the cast will present the original show, so there is hope. $45-$64. 501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952.934.1525. Through December 31

 
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