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BYE BYE BIRDIE is one of the most captivating musical shows of our time. It is a satire crafted with the fondest affection telling the story of a rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army. An English Teacher, What Did I Ever See in Him?, Put on a Happy Face, One Boy, A Lot of Livin’ to Do, Kids, Rosie and Spanish Rose are musical theatre classics. This is the tops in imagination and good old-fashioned fun.
Music samples provided courtesy of Decca Broadway, Strouse Publishing and Strada Music Company.
Interview with composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams
*Music samples courtesy of Decca Broadway, Strada Music Co. and Charles Strouse Music.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
BYE BYE BIRDIE is one of the most captivating musical shows of our time. It tells the story of a rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army. The singer, Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type, has a pompadour and thick sideburns; he wears gaudy gold costumes and speaks in a rugged voice. Albert Peterson, his agent, is a very pleasant mild mannered young man. Albert’s faithful secretary Rose Alvarez keeps him and Birdie moving forward in the world. Rosie concocts one final national publicity plan before Conrad’s induction.
Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an all-American kiss. Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio wins the honor. All of the phones in her town are already busy during The Telephone Hour as Kim has just been pinned to Hugo, a local boy. She is a pretty girl of fifteen and sings with spring like ardor How Lovely to Be a Woman, as she pulls on the plaid woolen socks and the baggy mustard colored sweater considered stylish and popular among young ladies.
The arrival of Birdie in Sweet Apple causes people of all ages to swoon. Birdie says that his success is due to the fact that he is Honestly Sincere when he sings, and the quiet little town goes into a spin. The MacAfee household is completely upset by the visiting celebrity. It is decided that Birdie will give his One Last Kiss on the Ed Sullivan show. Kim’s father who laments the whole uproar, tries to break into the act and behaves like a ham on the TV show. Hymn for a Sunday Evening is a salute to the greater glory of Ed Sullivan.
Birdie becomes disgusted with his life and goes out on the town with the teenagers. He feels tense with Albert and is tired of being supervised. The parents of Sweet Apple cannot understand the new generation and express this in Kids. Rosie, still waiting for that band of gold from Albert after eight years, invades a Shriners’ meeting. An extremely hilarious ballet ensues. She then decides to become the Latin American spitfire that she is painted as, by Albert’s lead-footed catastrophe-ridden mother. She is determined to become Spanish Rose. Kim is reunited with Hugo, and Rose with Albert in the lovely number Rosie. Other hit numbers include A Lot of Livin’ to Do and Put on a Happy Face.
BYE BYE BIRDIE is a satire done with the fondest affection. It gives an insight into the everyday life that is very much part of us all. It is the tops in imagination and frivolity; a show that will be enjoyed by the cast as much as the audience.
Book by Michael Stewart
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Lee Adams
Originally Produced by Edward Padula
1 Reed I: Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute & Piccolo
1 Reed II: Alto Saxophone & Clarinet
1 Reed III: Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
1 Trumpets I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
2 Percussion I & II: (trap drum set & mallet instruments)
Timpani (2 drums)
Snare Drum Case
Trap drum set-
Snare Drum & Rack Tom
Wood Blocks (2)
Large Military Snare Drum
Kazoo (or Ratchet)
Both players use Piatti, Triangle and Ratchet
1 Guitar-Banjo (Banjo for “Overture A”; Electric Bass for “Telephone Hour” and “One Hundred Ways – Ballet” only)
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
A special Keyboard Synthesizer part is available, when the complete orchestration is used, at an additional charge. It may be substituted for the 3 violin and 2 cello parts.
Also available, at an additional charge: Full Orchestra Score (Partitur) in 4 volumes.
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book
24 Prompt Books
1 Original Cast CD
36 Vocal-Chorus Parts
Optional Additional Materials
1 Stage Manager’s Guide
3 Optional Additional Songs, from the 1995 television presentation:
“Spanish Rose (Revised)”
“Let’s Settle Down”
“A Mother Doesn’t Matter Anymore”
(4 female; 5 male)
Mr. MacAfee (Harry)
Mrs. MacAfee (Doris)
(8 female; 3 male)
Mrs. Mae Peterson
Bartender (member of Male Quartet)
Conrad’s Guitar Man (non-speaking)
Second Reporter (non-speaking)
From the Chorus (non-speaking)
2 Sad Girls (dancers)
Travelers (adult chorus)
Train Station Personnel
Sweet Apple Parents (adult chorus)
2 Drum Majorettes
TV Show Stage Crew:
2 Wardrobe Women
Dishwasher (member of Male Quartet)
First Customer (member of Male Quartet)
Second Customer (member of Male Quartet)
Quartet of Townspeople (men)
Sweet Apple Shriners (dancers)
Ed Sullivan (offstage)
2 Reporters (additional)
The original Broadway production had a cast of 47 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
BYE BYE BIRDIE opened on Broadway, April 14, 1960 and played for 607 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre (later at the 54th Street and the Shubert Theatres) starring Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke as Rose and Albert. The show played for 268 performances in London at Her Majesty’s Theatre. It was revived on Broadway in 2009 and played for 117 performances at Henry Miller’s Theatre.
4 Tony Awards for Musical, Director, Choreography and Featured Actor
The Outer Critics Circle Award for Musical