AP NEWS

Players’ ‘Plaid’ showcases songs from ’50s

January 30, 2019

Dr. Tommy Hysler was the pianist and McCade Fletcher was a newborn the first time the Art Park Players presented “Forever Plaid,” a jukebox musical with songs from the 1950s.

Now, 20 years later, Hysler is the oldest cast member in a revival of the show, which plays Feb. 8-23. Fletcher, making his Art Park Players debut, is the youngest cast member.

They are joined by J.T. Fischer of Houston and Taylor Fisher of Cypress as a clean-cut quartet of eager singers who harmonize on classic pop hits such as “Heart and Soul,” “Love is a Many Splendored thing” and “Catch a Falling Star.”

The show will be presented Feb. 8-10, 15-17 and 22-23 at the Theatre/Courts Building, 1302 Center St., Deer Park.

Rehearsing the show has inspired nostalgic feelings in the cast, as well as director Susan Mele, assistant director David Eck, technical director Joe Piper of Deer Park and musical director Alex Musgrove of Pasadena.

Hysler, 37, is a 2000 graduate of Deer Park High School who now lives in Friendswood.

“I started with Art Park Players when I was 5,” said Hysler, whose father, the late Tom Hysler, was a dentist. His mother, Norma Hysler, is a longtime employee of Deer Park ISD. “I was also in choirs at Deer Park High School, which has one of the best choral programs in the state.”

Hysler went to Louisiana State University on a vocal music scholarship, but in his second year, he decided, “You know what? I want to be a doctor. I had watched my father; so I got to see the doctor/patient relationship and really admired that.”

After graduating from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, Hysler became board-certified in occupational medicine. He now manages offices of the Houston Area Safety Council in Pasadena and Texas City.

Hysler and his wife, Cami, are the parents of a 9-year-old daughter, Keira.

In “Forever Plaid,” Hysler plays a character named Sparky, who gets to “cut up” and sing in Spanish in one of the actor’s favorite numbers, “Perfidia.”

Fletcher, who portrays Jinx, said his favorite song in the show is “Cry,” as it’s the one his mother most enjoys. His parents are Darren and Shawntil Fletcher of Deer Park, and his grandparents are Ralph and Diane Fletcher of Pearland.

“My grandma is most excited about ‘Sixteen Tons,’” said the 20-year-old, who is a 2016 graduate of La Porte High, but now lives in Deer Park and attends the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Some other notable songs in the show include “Three Coins in a Fountain,” “Chain Gang” and “Rags to Riches.”

In high school, Fletcher portrayed Ali Hakim in “Oklahoma!” and sang “It’s a Scandal! It’s a Outrage!” under the direction of former LPHS theater teacher Sonja Angelo. Although she had retired from teaching in 1996, she returned to direct the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic.

“I joined my first choir in sixth grade and I’ve never stopped,” said Fletcher, who earned a 2018 associate of arts in general studies in the theater and film program at San Jacinto College Central in Pasadena.

At UH-CL, Fletcher studies business, marketing and management.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at donmaines@att.net

AP RADIO
Update hourly