The friends singing the opening song. PN Photo/Abigail Chabala
By: Abigail Chabala
“Forever Young” delivers the audience a blast from the past, singing music by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Queen, Johnny Cash, Billy Joel and more.
The show started with a dark stage, then low lights revealed a group of friends hanging at one of their houses, and after discovering a record player and some records in the basement, the show really began. The five guys hit play on the record player and began to sing along with the music.
The record player blasted “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy, getting the crowd excited and clapping to the song. The only catch with the record player was that there were no words, and the boys had to sing the words for each song. The five guys quickly caught the audience’s attention with their harmonies and runs added to the songs. You could tell when the audience liked the song based on the cheering and clapping.
“I enjoyed the show because it told us a relatable story about a group of friends losing sight of what really mattered to them and then we got to see how music brought the friends back together and to their roots,” Nick Golden, a UNCP alum said.
The crowd went crazy when the guys did a mashup of ‘Poison’ by Bell Biv DeVoe and “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson. They sang the words of ‘Poison’ to the music from ‘Billy Jean’, and it got a loud reaction from the crowd.
The set for the show would follow the guys and matched where they were in life. When they needed to changed location, they would add or remove different props to change the scene.
The story told us how each friend went their separate ways after graduating high school, and they were all off doing their own things. One of the members became a Major League Baseball player and the scene changed into a locker room. Another was on a boat sailing the sea and the others helped transform the stage into a beach while he was in a sailboat.
By the end of the show, they had all met up again after years of going their own ways in life, through music and memories.
“Forever Young” was live on January 20, 2023, in UNCP’s Givens Performing Arts Center. Forever Young was written by Josh Sassanella, Justin Sassanella, Evan Bosworth and Tony Turner. The cast were Josh Sassanella, Justin Sassanella, Brad Baker, Jay Poff and Avilla Martin.