Musical ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ features new talent

Madison Weispfenning, Editorial Cartoonist

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The theater department is hard at work preparing for the spring musical “Bye Bye Birdie”. Originally performed as a Broadway show called “Let’s Go Steady” in 1960, “Bye Bye Birdie” eventually became a musical movie known for their Elvis-based character Conrad Birdie.

Bye Bye Birdie’s Elvis-like character is portrayed by senior and first time performer Isaac Krahn. His first-time acting experience involves many screaming, hysterical, teenage girls. His music producer, Albert, portrayed by junior Ben Valerius, and his secretary/girlfriend, Rosie, portrayed by junior Mya Lysne, attempt to have one last big publicity stunt for Birdie before he goes to war by having him kiss one of his adoring fans goodbye.

Kim MacAfee, played by senior Sophie Vogel, is supposed to be Birdie’s last kiss, but her relationship with Hugo Peabody, played by first time performer and junior Thomas Haggard, slowly falls apart. All relationships in this show are tested and pushed to see how far they will go.

[The show is] playful, enjoyable, cheerful, groovy and moderately annoying. Once everyone is being as bright and ugly [musically] as they need to be [Telephone Hour] is a wonderful song to be a part of.”

— Ethan King

“[The show is] playful, enjoyable, cheerful, groovy and moderately annoying. Once everyone is being as bright and ugly [musically] as they need to be [ Telephone Hour ] is a wonderful song to be a part of,” junior and first time actor Ethan King said.

As the third song in the musical, “Telephone Hour” shows the close-knit community of Sweet Apple, Ohio. All of the teenage boys and girls of the town sing about Kim and Hugo becoming official.

“It’s very tricky to sing and dance at the same time and of course some people are better at it than others, but I think as a whole it’s coming along,” stage manager freshman Elsa Martin said.

The dances are done at high intensity and the musical pieces are sung at full ability. Bringing the two together is the hardest mash-up to accomplish for a musical actor. While dancing, actors have to make it seem as if they are not out of breath. In preparation for that Director Grif Sadow tells his actors to try to sing while they workout to get their voices and bodies use to the movement.

“During tech week I’m going to plan on doing my homework during my dinner break,” King said. “Or I’m going to plan on just crying and doing it at 3 a.m.,” King said.

During tech week, the cast can stay as late as 9 p.m. after school. Tech week is made for the technicians to run the show and learn their cues for lights and sound effects. This is also used for the pit orchestra, directed by Dennis Lindsay, to rehearse with the cast on stage and on cue. A majority of the actors consider tech week to be a stressful time, especially to fix the little things missed in rehearsals.

“I’m completely set on the time requirement, but just not the amount of energy and effort that pours out of us on tech week,” sophomore Fayuma Felema said. He will be performing in his first show in this spring musical.

At this point in the show, the cast is working on fixing minor errors and perfecting their pieces. “Bye Bye Birdie” will be performed on April 6-8 with two shows on the April 7. The tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students.

“The shows are always a blast,” Martin said.

Alternative Copy Story by Gabi Danielson

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