Announcing the Cast and Crew for Bye Bye Birdie!
Mar 31, 2018
Bradford Little Theatre (BLT) is pleased to announce its upcoming musical production of Bye Bye Birdie. The show, directed by Dani Newman and David Merwine, with musical direction by Shane Oschman, has a cast of almost fifty people and features a mix of old and new faces to the BLT stage. It will run April 13-15 at Bradford Area High School Auditorium.
Bye Bye Birdie, which opened on Broadway in 1960, features many well-known songs, such as “Put on A Happy Face” and “Kids.” It tells the fictional story of Conrad Birdie (Dwain Graham), a famous teen heartthrob who is drafted into the Army. His manager, Albert Peterson (Skyler Schapp), is devastated by the news, but for different reasons than every teenage girl in America. Peterson has a $50,000 guarantee on Birdie and his business depends on the success of his singer. Peterson’s girlfriend, Rose Alvarez (Gretchen Hennemen), is pleased because now she and Albert can settle down. Alvarez develops a plan that will allow Birdie to deliver “One Last Kiss” to a random adoring fan: Kim MacAfee (Aline Wintermantel), president of the Sweet Apple, Ohio chapter of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club
Peterson, Alvarez, and Birdie travel to Sweet Apple and the townspeople have no idea what hit them! Ursula Merkle (Emma Dwailebee), Kim’s best friend, welcomes Birdie to town; Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee (Andy Dutko and Beckie Confer) allow Birdie and his entourage to stay in their home. To make matters more complicated, Kim was just pinned by Hugo Peabody (Nathan Morris), who does not like the idea of his “steady” kissing Birdie. And poor Harvey Johnson (Devon Moore) just wants to find a date to the prom. Other important characters in Sweet Apple include the Mayor (Alan Bernstein) and his wife, Edna (Kristin Asinger); Mrs. Merkle (Sarita Schwindler); Randolph MacAfee (Joey Thacker); Albert’s mother, Mrs. Peterson (Bonnie Leposa); and Harvey’s father, Fred Johnson (Tim Asinger).
The Sweet Apple teen girls–Kim’s best friends–are Helen (Melody Campbell), Margie (Ellen Collins), Penelope (Anna Yaworsky), Alice (Bella Mager) and Deborah Sue (Karley Orner, making her theatre debut). The teen boys are played by Denzil Beatty, Tristan Duhan, Shazz Gillette, Kisun Peters, Austin Schapp, and Jeffrey Thacker, Jr. The older New York and Sweet Apple teen girls are played by Shelley Greene, Michaela Hatcher, and Brie Lara. Many young performers are also in the show, including Samaria Campbell, Leyna Easton, Addie Haviland, Lily Schena, Khadejah Thomas, Rnejah Thomas, and Caleigh Wolosewicz. Campbell and Schena are featured soloists.
A special quartet of men, all veterans of many local theatre stages, will be featured (John Kearns, Dick Marcott, Shane Oschman, and Eric Van Druff). Other adult ensemble members are Jessica Bailey, Devon Baumgardner, Anne Holliday, Lewis Keller, Chris Lathrop, Barb Pedersen, Connie Shanks, Ronda Skoken (also making her theatre debut), and Marcia Wymer.
Bye Bye Birdie features a full orchestra, conducted by Ruth Fuller. Choreography was created by Brie Lara, and a special movement coach, Bridgette Martin-Oschman, was brought in to assist Hennemen. The show is being produced by Tiffany Mager. Jessica Ann Coder will manage the stage crew. The extensive set, which features a two-story house, was engineered and built by Darrin Newman.
Bye Bye Birdie is presented in conjunction with a sponsorship by Kessel Construction, Inc. The show will be performed at 7:30pm on Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, with a 2pm performance on Sunday, April 15. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased from any cast member, by calling Jessica Ann Coder at (814) 331-9903, or at one of BLT’s ticket outlets: Graham Florist or Togi’s Family Restaurant.