April 27, 2011

Theatre Season Finale Offers Timeless Musical

By Rachel Judy

Conrad Birdie (Andy Geffken) and Kim McAfee
(Whitney Rappana) try to escape the paprazzi
In its final production of the 2010-11 season, Regent University Theatre tackles one of the most beloved Broadway musicals—Bye Bye Birdie. The show runs April 29 - May 1 and May 6-8.

Bye Bye Birdie tells the story of fictional singer and teen icon Conrad Birdie who travels to a small Ohio town to make his last television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted. The original Broadway production won four Tony Awards, ran for more than 600 performances and resulted in a movie adaptation starring Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh and Dick Van Dyke.

While the musical is set in the 1960s, director Scott Hayes believes Bye Bye Birdie has a timeless element audiences of all ages can relate to.

"As I began analyzing the script, I realized the musical had been written so the audience would recognize a spoof on current events—rock 'n' roll as a new genre and that genre's effects: the cult of celebrity and a growing chasm between the teenage fans and their parents," Hayes explained. "The male rock celebrity is an enduring American tradition. Right now my pre-teen daughters are outgrowing Justin Bieber and, before that, the Jonas Brothers. A generation prior screamed for the Backstreet Boys, and the list goes back in time ... Bye Bye Birdie is at once nostalgic and current, spoofing the past and the present."

Bye Bye Birdie features music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams.

Purchase tickets at the Box Office.

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