What happens when Conrad Birdie, America’s biggest pop star, is drafted into the army, leaving thousands of fans swooning over his departure? Publicity stunts ensue, romance blossoms, and throngs of adoring groupies are sent into a tailspin while the world waves “Bye Bye Birdie!”
Set in 1957, this Tony Award winning musical includes songs like A Healthy, Normal, American Boy and A Lot of Livin’ to Do, and possesses all the excitement of Broadway.
This year’s cast and crew have been working diligently to overcome days lost to inclement weather that threatened to delay production. Director Cherry Peterson noted that seven rehearsals were lost to snow days and cancellations, so this team of young actors has had to focus with added diligence to master roles and prepare to sing.
“I’m still working to learn all my lines and know when I come in,” says Brock Farber, a senior. “It’s stressful! In soccer you work hard physically, but this is all mental. I’m having a great time though–I love acting.”
Lead roles this year are filled with students ranging from 10th to 12th grade, and include: Andrea Beitel, Brock Farber, Mackenzie Emmert, Alexander Herringa, Riley Todd, Jacob Van Neuren, and Megan Stevens (pictured below, names descending the stairs and to the left)
Each of these students was quick to praise the individuals involved with Bye Bye Birdie, but said that it’s the overall theater department that feels like family.
“Theater has been one of my favorite parts of high school. Other students in drama are so accepting — nobody’s weird here. After all, just because this is a drama club doesn’t mean there has to be drama!“ said Andrea.
Senior Megan Stevens agreed:
“It seems like drama might be one of the only places where all kinds of different people come together. We have athletes, singers, math lovers, and those who have been in drama for years. You become friends with people that you wouldn’t normally meet.”
Riley Todd, a junior, echoed these sentiments, adding:
“Drama is a family. If you ever need someone to talk to, there’s always someone there. People really care; I’ve made so many friends.”
Mackenzie, Jacob, and Alexander all agreed that there are times when the stage feels more like home than anywhere else. They’ve been involved in various productions for years, and are thrilled to have the privilege to perform again this week.
Bye Bye Birdie is a theater classic that will take you back through time to leather jackets, white t-shirts, and great music. On behalf of the the Allendale High School Drama Club, we invite you to join us this week for Bye Bye Birdie.
Show times are:
March 21, 22, 23
Ceglarek Fine Arts Center
All tickets are general admission
5 yrs. and younger $3