In the year 1958, things get shaken up when rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie is inducted into the army. Before Conrad Birdie leaves for the army, one lucky girl is randomly chosen to give Birdie his “last kiss” on The Ed Sullivan Show.
“Bye Bye Birdie” is a musical comedy filled with satirical humor, love obsessions, and catchy songs that you won’t want to miss. The story itself was actually based on Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the army in 1957.
Pamyla Stiehl, Director and Choreographer of the musical and Theater Professor at St. Kate’s is excited for the classic musical to premiere.
“Bye Bye Birdie is a golden aged, pure musical comedy written in 1959, that makes fun of the Elvis Presley, teen idol phenomenon. It is satire but really rooted in old fashioned comedy,” said Stiehl.
At first glance, one may assume that Conrad Birdie or even Albert Peterson, Birdie’s manager, are the stars of the show. However, due to the collaborative effort of St. Catherine University’s Department of Music and Theater and the University of St. Thomas, the show has a refreshing, feministic spin when Rosie Alvarez, Peterson’s secretary, actually takes the lead in the show.
“Rosie is a powerful woman that runs the show and we have really tried to amp up her character,” said Stiehl. “We have given the women in this show more powerful roles. In my opinion, Rosie drives the show. Albert may be caught in the mess, but Rosie orchestrates.”
Kim MacAfee, the lucky girl who receives the “last kiss’’ is another example of a woman with a powerful role in this musical. As Kim evolves throughout the storyline, she realizes that her crush on Birdie is a fraud and decides that she will not be one of his groupies.
“Bye Bye Birdie” is also a family friendly show for people of all ages to attend. Claire Thompson, who plays Ursula Merkle the crazy tween who is ridiculously obsessed with the handsome Conrad Birdie, also highly recommends students to attend the show.
“This musical is super fun for all ages! It has humor, music, love, and dancing all rolled together to make a great show,” said Thompson ’17. “Attending an all-women’s college, you rarely see hunky men walking around on campus and when we do we want to scream at how beautiful they are! Am I right? Well, during the show you can let those suppressed screams right out with us tween girls as we swoon over the beautiful Conrad Birdie!”
“Bye Bye Birdie” is quality entertainment at a very low price,” said Sarah Schultz ’17, who is playing Mae Peterson. “This show is a great way to support your classmates whose work you don’t always see. Katies [and Tommies] poured hours into not only preparing to perform onstage, but also building the set, sewing the costumes, and stage managing.”
“Not only will everyone involved be thrilled you came, but you also will be thrilled you came,” said Schultz.
“Bye Bye Birdie” will be showing at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on April 17 and 18, 2015 at 7 p.m. and April 19, 2015 at 2 p.m. General Admission is $17, all students with ID is $7, the cost for ACTC staff and faculty is $7 and for St. Kate’s alumnae it is $7.
Call 651-690-6700 for more ticket information.