Bye Bye Birdie
LPI’s 27th annual production was a rock ‘n’ rollin’ classic, Bye Bye Birdie!
Written by Michael Stewart with music by Charles Strouse, Bye Bye Birdie takes place in Sweet Apple, Ohio in 1958. It tells the story of rock and roll superstar, Conrad Birdie, who gets drafted into the army, sending his fan club into a frenzy. Conrad is managed by his agent and songwriter, Albert Peterson, and Albert’s loyal secretary and love, Rose Alvarez. Albert and Rose decide on one last publicity stunt before Conrad is shipped overseas, picking one lucky fan to receive his “One Last Kiss”. The lucky fan is none other than the president of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club, 15-year old Kim MacAfee, who believes herself to be mature now that she has been pinned by her jealous boyfriend, Hugo. Albert, Rose, and Conrad head to the MacAfee household where they are to stay until the kiss is performed and aired on the Ed Sullivan Show. During this visit, conflict ensues between all of the characters, from Rose waiting for Albert to propose, Albert’s mother not approving of Rose, Harry MacAfee not thrilled with his daughters’ upcoming public kiss, Conrad tired of being constantly supervised by his agent, and all of the kids in the town excited by Conrad’s presence. Fun, energetic, and colorful, Bye Bye Birdie is a Tony Award-winning comedy for all ages.
The cast of Bye Bye Birdie consisted of almost 80 members with over 70 volunteers working behind the scenes to make the city of Sweet Apple, Ohio come to life on the Random Lake stage. LPI was happy to welcome a handful of LPI veterans as well as countless newcomers for this summer's production. Albert Peterson was portrayed by Duncan Doherty while Rose Alverez was portrayed by Renee Schauer, both LPI veterans. Connor Schwab stepped into the shoes of Conrad Birdie, and Annelise Frank portrayed Kim MacAfee. Kim’s parents Harry and Doris MacAfee were played by LPI veterans Phil Greve and Heather Hernandez. Newcomer to LPI, Ian Schoenefeld filled the role of Kim's little brother Randolph MacAfee. Amy Schmit and her portrayal of Mae Peterson, Albert’s mother, had everyone in stitches show after show. Of course an LPI show would not be complete without LPI veteran Bob Deyo gracing the stage as he played the role of Maude. Countless other cast members filled the remaining supporting roles and ensemble members such as Dawson Tisler as Hugo Peabody and Kinsey Delwiche as Ursula Merkle.
Bye Bye Birdie was directed by Ben Johnson, making his LPI directorial debut! Bob Eichner lent a helping hand as stage manager while Nikki Anderson and Tom Kamenick worked together as Co-Music Directors. LPI welcomed back Carter Krzyzaniak as choreographer for his second year with LPI and once again blew everyone away with edgy, fresh choreography. Kim Dussault once again dazzled audiences with her costume design, and Spencer Rathke, as tech director, made the cast shine in the light with his light and sound design. This year, long-time set director Mike Schwab worked alongside Set Designer Jim Johnson to bring the city of Sweet Apple, Ohio to life. As always, this show would not have been possible without the help of the countless volunteers that give their time, talent and energy to Lakeshore Productions.