Kathryn teaches high school vocal music, music history, music theory, and musical theatre. She also maintains an active piano teaching and performance schedule.
With a nostalgic, early Rock and Roll sentiment, Bye Bye Birdie holds a special place in musical theatre history. With now-iconic songs, including 'Put On A Happy Face' and 'We Love You Conrad', it was one of the first shows to highlight the rock and roll genre, paving the way for future rock musicals on stage.
Channeling Elvis Presley, Conrad Birdie, styled with a pompadour and side burns and flamboyant costumes, is drafted to the army. Frantic, his manager, Albert Peterson, declares this will end Almaelou Music Corporation. His secretary and girlfriend, Rosie Alvarez, urges him that this is the sign he needed to return to college and complete his teaching degree ('An English Teacher'). To give Birdie one final publicity moment before his induction, and to get Albert out of debt, Rosie crafts a plan for Birdie to sing a new song and give a kiss to an American girl on the Ed Sullivan show. They choose from the Birdie Fan Club, and fifteen year old Kim MacAfee from Sweet Apple, Ohio is selected.
In Sweet Apple, Kim MacAfee and the other teenagers of Sweet Apple High are heard gossiping about the relationships of the week ('The Telephone Song'). Thrilled with her new relationship with Hugo Peabody, and delighted with growing up ('How Lovely to be a Woman'), Kim quits the Birdie Fan Club.
Before leaving New York City for Sweet Apple, Conrad and his publicity team are met by a group of local teenage girls ('Put On a Happy Face'). Albert's mother, Mae Peterson, arrives and shows a complete disregard for Rosie. Her overbearing presence makes Albert uncomfortable - he is unable to tell her he has chosen to close his production company. Reporters arrive to interview Conrad one last time. (' A Healthy, Normal American Boy').
Conrad is given a hero's welcome to Sweet Apple, but Hugo worries Kim will like Conrad more, though Kim reassures him he is the only one ('One Boy'). Conrad's performance drives the girls crazy, causing them to faint, and shocking their parents ('Honestly Sincere').
Conrad is invited to the MacAfee home for dinner, but proves to be a rude and selfish guest. Kim's father, Harry MacAfee, is hesitant about Conrad kissing Kim, but after being told the entire family will be on the Ed Sullivan Show, the family sings the famous television host's praises ('Hymn for a Sunday Evening (Ed Sullivan)').
Rosie becomes jealous when Gloria Rasputin is introduced to Albert by his mother as a potential new secretary and hopeful dancer in show business. She dreams up a variety of ways to kill Albert ('One Hundred Ways Ballet'). Conrad sings on The Ed Sullivan Show ('One Last Kiss') and as he leans in to kiss Kim, Hugo rushes the stage and punches Conrad.
Rosie laments over her relationship with Albert ('What Did I Ever See in Him?'), and announces she is leaving him for good. Birdie grows weary of the publicity stunt and leaves to meet some 'chicks' ('A Lot of Livin' To Do'). By chance, he meets Kim running away from home, and after convincing her there are places to go and things to do, they head to the Ice House, the local teen hangout. Mr. MacAfee discovers their actions and expresses his frustration and confusion with the younger generation ('Kids').
Rosie heads to the town bar to relieve her stress. Albert reaches out to Rose and unsuccessfully pleads with her to listen ('Baby Talk to Me'). Albert searches for Rosie, while his mother follows, over-dramatically wailing about her son's lack of love for her. Once his mother leaves, Albert and the MacAfees joins the search for for Conrad and Kim. Finding Rosie instead, they learn Kim and Conrad are at the Ice House.
At the Ice House, they find the young couple bored with each other and desperate to get away. As Kim is a minor, Conrad is arrested, and Kim and Hugo reconcile. With a new-found sense of confidence, Albert demands that Rosie meet him the next day with legal documents. Rosie flaunts her relationship in front of Mrs. Peterson ('Spanish Rose').
Upon his release, Albert forces Conrad onto the train. Mrs Peterson arrives and lays on the train tracks to show her depression at the engagement of Albert and Rosie. Kim and Hugo have become engaged, and Rosie arrives to meet Albert. She learns that Albert has made them miss the train for New York, but has tickets for them for a train to Pumpkin Falls, Iowa. He has learned of a job opening teaching English and Domestic Science - an opening which prefers married applicants ('Rosie').
Original Broadway Run:
April 14, 1960 - October 7, 1961 - 607 performances
Martin Beck Theatre
54 Street Theatre
Original Broadway Creative:
Music: Charles Strouse
Lyrics: Lee Adams
Libretto/Book: Michael Stewart
Director/Choreographer: Gower Champion
1961 - Tony Awards
- Best Musical (Won)
- Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical - Dick Van Dyke (Won)
- Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical - Dick Gautier (Nominated)
- Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical - Chita Rivera (Nominated)
- Best Direction of a Musical - Gower Champion (Won)
- Best Choreography - Gower Champion (Won)
- Best Conductor and Musical Director - Elliot Lawrence (Nominated)
- Best Scenic Design in a Musical - Robert Randolph (Nominated)
Original Broadway Cast:
Albert Peterson - Dick Van Dyke
Rosie Alvarez - Chita Rivera
Mr. Harry MacAfee - Paul Lynde
Conrad Birdie - Dick Gautier
Kim MacAfee - Susan Watson
Mae Peterson - Kay Medford
Highlighting American life in the 1950's, the Tony Award winning musical, Bye Bye Birdie regales the audience with depictions of the pop idol craze and early rock and roll. Albert Peterson and Rosie Alvarez take their rock star client, Conrad Birdie, to the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio as a last publicity stunt, and the ensuing drama envelops the entire town. The show explores teenage love and infatuation, as in 'The Telephone Hour', the relationships between parents and their children, as between Albert and Mae Peterson and Kim and Mr MacAfee, in addition to depicting the hero worship of national figures, like Ed Sullivan and Conrad Birdie, modeled after Elvis Presley. With music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, and a cast led by Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, the 1960 stage production won four Tony Awards and is considered a classic even today.
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