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 This year, more than usual, it feels like the world could use a serious dose of holiday spirit — and the Athens Theatre in DeLand is ready to deliver Central Florida a jolly remedy for the blues! Plaid Tidings is a splendiferous show for every age, filled to the brim with songs of the season, tap-danced tunes, and gobs of giggles! 

As the show begins, audiences discover that the comedic doo-wop quartet of Jinx, Frankie, Smudge and Sparky are actually angels who have returned to Earth for a second chance at “making it big” after a freak accident caused their demise on the night of Feb. 9, 1964, while The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. 

The spirited songsters set out to uncover the purpose of their heavenly charge — and while reminiscing about perfect past performances they realize just how much it meant to bring joy and music to their fans. The melodious men set forth to create a holiday special to spread cozy cheer for all to hear! 

Audiences can look forward to a hysterical version of an Ed Sullivan variety show featuring The Chipmunks, The Vienna Boys’ Choir, and The Rockettes — all in flawless four-part-harmony featuring amusingly altered holiday favorites like “White Christmas,” “The Carol of the Belles,” “Twasthe Nite B4,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and a hilarious calypso tune with “in excelsis da-a-ay-o” serving as a refrain. 

With director Trevor Southworth pulling the marionettes’ strings and Laura Mansoori choreographing each catchy tune, every actor and character gets a chance to shine. 

Chris deJongh (most recently featured on the Athens stage as Henry in The Fantasticks, Rooster in Annie, and Sammy in The Wedding Singer) will dazzle as Frankie, the group leader and crooning second-tenor. While on mandatory break from performing on cruise ships, Joey Herr will be making his Athens Theatre debut performance as Sparky, the doo-wop group’s baritone cutup. 

David Coalter was last seen on the Athens stage during 9 to 5 and will deliver laughs as Jinx, the quartet’s shy and reserved tenor, who occasionally gets nosebleeds when he has to sing really high. Rounding out this plaid-clad group is their worrywart bass, Smudge, brought to life by Nate Elliott, who has played numerous roles on DeLand’s historic stage, including his unforgettable Don Lockwood (Singin’ in the Rain), Spider (Jekyll and Hyde), and Ted Hanover (Holiday Inn). 

The Athens Theatre invites you to join the harmonious Plaid Tidings quartet and live band as they spread joy and rekindle the flame of holiday spirit Saturday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 20. 

The historic Athens Theatre has taken numerous precautions to ensure the safety of its patrons, staff, volunteers and actors, and is located at 124 N. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand. 

Tickets cost $30 for preferred seating (rows A-E, center); $25 for adults; $23 for senior citizens; $11 for students and children; and $21 per person for groups of eight or more. A $3-per-ticket processing charge will be added to each purchase. 

To purchase your tickets in advance or to find out more specific information about dates, times and safety precautions, visit the Athens Theatre website at www.AthensDeLand.com or call the box office at 386- 736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances. 

— Alexa A. Baldwin is director of marketing and operations for the Athens Theatre. 

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