RANGELEY – With its clever plot and tuneful songs, it’s no wonder that Bye Bye Birdie won the Tony Award for Best Musical when it hit Broadway in the early ‘60’s.
The story and the cast: Just when New York music producer Albert Peterson (played by Sam Staub) thinks his only hot client, Conrad Birdie (Heidi Elliott) [“We Love You Conrad”] might save the family company from going under, Conrad gets drafted into the Army, and Albert’s long-suffering secretary/girlfriend, Rose Alverez (Ariel Clinch), quits, leaving Albert and his over-bearing mother Mae (Joan Dunlap) in the lurch.
Albert had long promised Rose to stop being “a music bum,” finish college and become [“An English Teacher”]. In one last, desperate attempt to make it all work, Rose picks a name from the file of Conrad’s fans—15-year-old Kim MacAfee, president of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club #278 of Sweet Apple, Ohio (played by Lindsay Toothaker). Rose’s bright idea for Conrad’s new hit [“One Last Kiss”] with the innocent Kim as the recipient of the kiss to be broadcast on TV’s popular Ed Sullivan Show, will hopefully bring in the cash Albert needs to finish college.
The unsuspecting Kim and her family—sister Randi (Eva Jacot-Descombes), Mom Doris (Erin Smith), hen-pecked dad Harry (Tim Staub), and brand new steady, Hugo Peabody (Owen Sinclair) — have no idea what’s coming when Conrad Birdie and his entourage leave Penn Station and his crying, screaming, adoring fans behind [“Put on a Happy Face”] to head to Ohio for the huge publicity stunt that will change Sweet Apple forever. Even the parents are in for quite a ride when they and their teenagers finally meet Conrad in person [“Honestly Sincere”]. The appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show turns out to be a disaster, and the craziness continues as the teens decide to spy on Kim and Conrad during their tryst at the local make-out spot, the Ice House [“A lot of Livin’ to Do”] not long after Kim and Rosie have commiserated over their love troubles [“What Did I Ever See in Him”].
Disgusted over the whole situation, Rose heads out on the town, ends up at a local road house where she tries to drown her sorrows [Spanish Rose”]. Meanwhile the frantic Albert attempts to shake his ever-appearing nightmare of a mother and tries to win Rose back over the telephone [“Baby Talk to Me”] while the rest of the MacAfee family is at wits end [“Kids!”] What a mess!
The supporting cast includes (in no particular order) adults Ashley Quimby, Les Hoekstra, Brenda Rogers, Ben and Ana Wetherill, Don Schuman and Linda Wendelken, and RLRS students Haley Morrill, Valerie Roy-Lessard, Chloe Talbert, Meg Targett, Natalie Brooks, Billie Rogers, Olivia Jannace and Emina Gunic.
The production crew includes Erin Smith (director), Sue Downes-Borko (musical director), Brenda Rogers (costumes), Victor Borko (audio), Jed Whitney (electrician), Paul Ellis and Les Hoekstra (set construction), Marie Beauregard (lighting) and others – all under the tireless and spirited leadership of producer, Millie Hoekstra.
Come find out how the whole crazy story turns out. Bye Bye Birdie will play for three performances only at the Lakeside Theater on Maine Street in Rangeley, Friday and Saturday March 15th and 16th at 7:00pm and Sunday March 17th at 2:00pm. There will be no advanced ticket sales for this show. Tickets will be sold at the door, general admission, for $15 (This means no reserved seating, so get there nice and early). Doors will open 30 minutes before show time. For more information call assistant producer Don Schuman at 864-4316.
This article was written by Rangeley News