Bye Bye Birdie
Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie’s farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it’s a teenage crisis for new “steadies” Hugo and Kim: she just won the chance to give Birdie one last kiss before boot camp. Kids, parents and show folk collide in the Goodspeed debut of the hip-swiveling musical comedy set at the dawn of the sensational ’60s. Bring the entire family to discover we’ve got a lot of livin’ to do!
Book by Michael Stewart | Music by Charles Strouse | Lyrics by Lee Adams
Tickets for individual shows will go on sale Feb 14, 2016
Goodspeed Opera House
PO Box A, 6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT 06423
June 24 – Sept 4, 2016
Bye Bye Birdie is a stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, and music by Charles Strouse.
Originally titled Let’s Go Steady, the satire on American society is set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character’s name, “Conrad Birdie”, is word play on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty is best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll rivals.
The original 1960–61 Broadway production was a Tony Award–winning success. It spawned a London production and several major revivals, a sequel, a 1963 film and a 1995 television production. The show also became a popular choice for high school and college productions.
The original production of Bye Bye Birdie opened to mostly positive reviews, with several critics marveling at the unexpected success of a musical crafted by an inexperienced production team. John Champman of the New York Daily News called it “the funniest, most captivating, and most expert musical comedy one could hope to see … the show is pure, plain musical comedy, with jokes, dancing, oddball costumes … exceptionally catching orchestrations … and a completely enthusiastic cast.” He noted that, “one of the best things about it is that practically nobody is connected to it. Who ever heard of Edward Padula … Charles Strouse and Lee Adams … Gower Champion?” Frank Aston of the New York World-Telegram & Sun declared Bye Bye Birdie “the peak of the season” and especially liked Chita Rivera as Rosie: “Chita Rivera … is triumphant as dancer, comic, and warbler.” In the New York Daily Mirror, Robert Coleman wrote that “Edward Padula put over a sleeper in the Broadway sweepstakes, and it’s going to pay off in big figures … Chita Rivera explodes like a bomb over West 45th Street. Michael Stewart has penned a sassy and fresh book, while Lee Adams and Charles Strouse have matched it with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and music.”