MICHAEL WILMOT’S A RED PLAID SHIRT Directed by Sue Aukerman
Marty is over the hill – or is he? He has retired from a life of teaching English to high school students, and he wants to know what comes next. What’s on the other side of that frightening hill? What in the world is he supposed to do with himself, other than drive his loving wife crazy ? That’s simple premise of A Red Plaid Shirt by Canadian playwright Michael Wilmot. At the insistence of Deb, his wife, Marty decides to take up a hobby. What will it be? Woodworking, or his latest wild hair; motorcycling? He and his buddy Fred, (who has taken up the hobby of hypochondria after watching too many medical dramas on TV) set out together for the woodworking class. Their interplay is reminiscent of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, TV’s best buds from the Honeymooners. Marty and Fred are the biggest tools in the wood shop. If the play is homage to the classic sitcom, it’s the sitcom in mint condition. The formula can’t fail, as long as it’s well written. It certainly is here. But, beyond the punch lines, the show takes a sharp turn into a poignant conclusion we never saw coming.