In this schmaltzy sequel to Forever Plaid, presented by Broadway Rose, the story follows a similar arc but the songs are dialed-in for Christmas. In the beginning of that first musical, the Plaids—a meat-and-potatoes guy group from the ‘50s—are killed in a bus crash on their way to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, but they return from the afterlife to croon together. For Plaid Tidings, they’re back as “guardians of harmony for all eternity” with mostly white-bread holiday mash-ups and peppy dance moves. Those who don’t require their Christmas traditionals sung to completion—or who don’t care much for context—will appreciate stars Matthew Brown, Robert Head, Sean Powell and Jeremy Sloan, who are such a polished quartet it seems they could have been rehearsing since the ‘50s. Their vocals are clean, without a hint of grit, and their choreography is spot-on. Dialogue can turn confusing and the comedic interruptions occasionally irritate, but Brown, as mischievous bandmate Smudge, holds these bits together with his self-deprecating charm and impeccable timing. Standouts include holiday jewels “Let It Snow” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” which are thankfully not bogged down with excess dialogue.
Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, 12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard, 620-5262. 7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays through Dec. 22. $30-$40. Tickets here.