The Eastern Nazarene College Theatre Department will present the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” this October.
“Bye Bye Birdie is one of the most captivating musical shows of our time,” said Director and Producer Tara Brooke Watkins. “It’s a satire on American life that’s done with the fondest affection.”
Set in 1958, the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of rock and roll idol Conrad Birdie ? an Elvis-type singer who has just been drafted into the U.S. Army. As part of a publicity stunt, Conrad travels to a small town in Ohio to offer “one last kiss” to his biggest fan on the popular Ed Sullivan Show.
Watkins noted that the production features the largest cast of any ENC show in several years, with more than 35 students participating on stage. Set design is also an important part of the production, with designer Michael W. Ballard’s set featuring colors and shapes evocative of the 1950s.
?“Our idea conceptually was to evoke the 1950s at every turn and with every dance move,” Watkins said. “Cast members are being stretched to learn various types of 1950s dances. They’re even cutting and restyling their hair to reflect the slicked-back hairdos and bouncy pony tails of the period!”
Many of Bye Bye Birdie’s musical numbers, she added, have become musical theater standards. “Songs like Put on a Happy Face, A Lot of Livin’ to Do and Kids, Bye Bye Birdie gives insight into the everyday life that is very much a part of us all,” Watkins said.
Performances will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 18, and at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 20. Educational matinee performances for students will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday Oct. 11 and Friday Oct. 19.
Tickets for Bye Bye Birdie are $15 general admission, $10 for students, $5 for ENC students and for children 12 and under. For tickets or more information, call the ENC box office at 617-745-3715 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.