Bye Bye Birdie — Young Performers’ Edition

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The BYE BYE BIRDIE Young Performers’ Edition is a one-hour adaptation, specially tailored for elementary school- and middle school-aged children. The materials have been prepared to help your school or organization mount the best possible production and to give your children an exciting and rewarding experience.

A loving send-up of the 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll, BYE BYE BIRDIE remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses all-American girl Kim McAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score, plenty of great parts for kids, and a hilarious script, BIRDIE remains one of the most popular shows in schools across the country.

Hit songs include “Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “One Boy,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “Kids!” and “Rosie.”

Music samples courtesy of Strada Music Co. and Charles Strouse Music.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • It is 1960, and a chorus of young girls energetically sings the praises of rock & roll idol Conrad Birdie. At Almelou Music Corp. in New York, Conrad’s managers, Albert Peterson and Rosie Alvarez (who’ve been dating for years), learn that their client has been inducted into the army. Though she’d prefer that Albert settle down and become “An English Teacher,” Rosie concocts a plan: as a publicity stunt, Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with a public farewell kiss. Rosie randomly selects the name of the lucky girl: fifteen-year-old Kim McAfee of Sweet Apple, Ohio.

    Meanwhile, in Sweet Apple, every teenager in town is on the phone, gossiping about Kim and her new steady, Hugo Peabody (“The Telephone Hour”). Kim, who proudly celebrates her new maturity (“How Lovely To Be A Woman”), is astonished to hear the news about Birdie.

    In New York’s Penn Station, Albert cheers up a downcast Birdie fan (“Put On A Happy Face”). Mae, Albert’s overbearing mother, insults Rose, but Albert is unable to stand up to her. Birdie arrives, pursued by reporters, so Albert and Rosie deftly manage the press (“Healthy Normal American Boy”).

    In Sweet Apple, Hugo is a bit jealous of the attention Kim pays to Birdie, but Kim assures Hugo he is the “One Boy” for her. On the courthouse steps, the Mayor welcomes Conrad, who bowls everyone over with his powerhouse hit, “Honestly Sincere.”

    With Conrad staying for the week, the McAfee household is completely turned upside down. A frustrated Mr. McAfee is all set to put his foot down, until he hears the family will be appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show (“Hymn For A Sunday Evening”). Mae, who followed Albert and Rosie by bus, introduces Albert to a sensational tap-dancer named Gloria Rasputin, whom Albert begrudgingly hires as a typist. Rosie, enraged by Albert’s behavior, enlists the aide of Hugo in a plan to undermine the big show. On The Ed Sullivan Show, Conrad prepares to give Kim “One Last Kiss,” but at the last minute, Hugo steps onstage and punches Conrad, knocking him to the floor. Everyone scatters, and Rosie bids Albert a bitter farewell, leaving him alone on national television. Smiling nervously, Albert desperately tries to recover (“Healthy Normal American Boy” Reprise).

    Rosie and Kim, furious at Albert and Hugo, pack up to leave (“What Did I Ever See In Him?”). Albert and Mae make a new plan: Conrad will now kiss Kim at the train station before he leaves. But Conrad is tired of being locked up in a suburban household, and he invites the kids to join him in a wild night out (“A Lot of Livin’ To Do”). Mr. and Mrs. McAfee, fearing the worst, join up with other parents to find their teens (“Kids!”). Mae continues to pester Albert and berate Rosie. Finally, Albert stands up to his mother, demanding that she go home.

    At the Ice House, a popular spot for teens, Kim tries to ward off Conrad’s advances. The parents and Hugo arrive just in time, and Kim realizes that she belongs with Hugo. Rosie and Albert make up, too, and Rosie has a bit of fun mocking Mae. The next morning, Albert sneaks Conrad out of town and tells Rose he’s accepted a teaching job in Pumpkin Falls, Iowa. Albert and Rose celebrate their new future (“Rosie”) and dance off into the sunset.

     

  • BYE BYE BIRDIE
    A Musical Comedy
    Book by Michael Stewart
    Music by Charles Strouse
    Lyrics by Lee Adams
    Originally Produced by Edward Padula
    Adaptation and support materials for the Young Performers’ Edition
    Developed by iTheatrics
    Under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald

    The names of the authors shall immediately follow the title of the play and shall be at least fifty (50%) percent of the size of the title of the play. The names of the authors shall be equal to each other in size, boldness and color, and no more than four principal performers shall have billing of a size equal to or larger than the authors. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    BYE BYE BIRDIE
    is presented by arrangement with
    TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • 1  Director’s Production Guide
    1  Piano-Vocal Score
    30 Young Performer’s Books
    1  Disc Set, consisting of:
    1 Sing-Along CD
    1 Performance CD
    1 Choreography DVD

    Production Kit Description

    Young Performer’s Books, containing the complete script and all vocal material.
    Sing-Along CD, to help your cast learn the songs.
    Performance CD, with orchestral accompaniment for your production.
    Choreography DVD, containing simple, effective dance steps and staging ideas for selected songs.
    Piano-Vocal Score, as an additional rehearsal tool.
    Production Guide, complete with background material, directorial pointers, details on incorporating the show’s production into the school curriculum and suggestions for involving your community at large.

  • ALBERT is the president of the Almaelou Music Corporation and is Conrad Birdie’s agent. He is a nervous, excitable man who spends most of his time trying to control the uncontrollable, with quite comic results. Look for an actor with excellent comic timing, a great singing voice and a natural likability. Albert carries much of the story, so choosing an actor who will be comfortable with such a responsibility is crucial —cast your best leading man.

    ROSIE is Albert’s girlfriend and secretary at the Almaelou Music Corporation, who is frustrated with Albert’s inability to commit to her. She is willing to do anything it takes to get Albert to give up the music business and settle down. Headstrong and confident, she is often one step ahead of Albert. Rosie needs to be a strong actor and a great singer. This is definitely a role for a student ready to shine in a leading role. Look for a young lady with tons of charm who can embrace that “go-get-‘em” personality.

    MRS. MAE PETERSON is Albert’s controlling mother. She loves her son, despite her disapproval of the way he runs the family business and (especially) his affection for Rosie. She has never stopped parenting Albert, and her mounting frustration throughout the show as Albert begins to stand up to her provides recurring comic relief. This is a non-singing role, so look for an actor with strong comedic timing and the ability to take positive risks in building a strong character.

    CONRAD BIRDIE is a teen heartthrob who has been drafted into the army. This character was written with Elvis Presley in mind. He says little but conveys much with his body language, swagger and, of course, his music. This is someone who knows that good looks and a killer smile will get him more than his personality. Look for a great singer/dancer with the ability to keep an over-the-top character alive while singing. This is a great role for a student who has tons of charm and can embody the “teen idol” persona.

    KIM MACAFEE is the self-confident young member of Conrad’s fan club who is chosen to receive a kiss from Conrad before he leaves for the Army. She sees herself as more mature than the average teenager. This is a large role for a talented singer and actor, so look for a student with a wholesome, innocent persona who will enjoy letting it go and have some fun along the way.

    HUGO PEABODY is Kim’s devoted steady boyfriend who is jealous that Conrad is receiving so much attention from Kim. This is a character-driven, non-singing role, so this is a great role to cast an up-and-coming student who isn’t quite ready to take on a leading role. When casting, think about the juxtaposition between Hugo and Conrad Birdie — casting a strapping Conrad and a diminutive Hugo will offer some great comic moments as the two compete for Kim’s affections.

    MR. HAARY MACAFEE is Kim’s father who thinks he’s in control of his family and his teenaged daughter (but isn’t). Mr. MacAfee should be a good actor with a decent singing voice who can find the comedy in his character’s frustration and irritability.
    Mrs. Doris MacAfee is Kim’s loving mother who knows just how to handle her husband and her household. Mrs. MacAfee should be a good actor/singer. When casting, look for the chemistry between Mrs. MacAfee and her husband — this actor should be able to play off of Mr. MacAfee’s gruffness with ease and charm.

    URSULA MERKLE is Kim’s best friend and the hyper-enthusiastic teenager who leads the girls in screaming for Conrad. This is a great supporting role to give to an energetic girl who will have fun creating a unique character with a one-of-a-kind voice. In casting, think of contrasting Kim’s “maturity” with Ursula’s youthful enthusiasm.

    RANDOLPH MACAFEE is Kim’s younger brother. This is a great small featured role for a younger actor with an unchanged voice who will get to create a fun character with only a few lines.
    The Mayor is the head figure of Sweet Apple, Ohio, who welcomes Conrad Birdie to town. A bit naïve to the effect Conrad has on the girls of the town, this is a great featured role for an ensemble cast member who can develop a fun character.

    THE MAYOR’S WIFE, EDNA, is one of the adults in the show who cannot escape the power of Conrad Birdie’s spell — also a great featured role for an ensemble cast member to have some fun with.

    GLORIA RASPUTIN is the dreamy, ambitious knockout whom Mrs. Peterson chooses to replace Rosie. She is looking for her big break in show business and hopes Albert can help her. Often played as a ditzy chorus-girl type, this is a good place to utilize a great tap dancer who will have fun with this featured dance solo and can create a gum-chomping, hair-twirling, larger-than-life character.

    MRS. MERKLE is Ursula’s overbearing mother who also gets a touch of Conrad Birdie Fever. Cast a good character actress who can incorporate her character into her singing voice.

    HARVEY JOHNSON is a typical nerdy teenager who can’t seem to get enough of the gossip going on in Telephone Hour. Cast a young actor who will have fun developing his character throughout this song and subsequent scenes.

    MR. JOHNSON is Harvey’s father and one of the many parents in Sweet Apple desperate to keep control of their children as Conrad Birdie comes to town. This is a small featured part for an ensemble member.

    Other TEENAGERS in Sweet Apple include ALICE, DEBORAH SUE, HELEN, NANCY, MARGIE, PENELOPE, SUZIE, FREDDIE, KARL and various other BOYS and GIRLS. Have fun casting these roles out of the ensemble and encourage your actors to create distinct characters.

    Other ENSEMBLE roles include a POLICEMAN, various REPORTERS, a CONDUCTOR and a TRAINMAN, and other PARENTS of the Sweet Apple teenagers with featured lines throughout the script. Get everyone involved!

  • A special adaptation of the classic Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie, designed specifically for presentation by elementary and middle school students.

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Spotlight Theater CASTLE ROCK, CO 10/07/2016 10/08/2016
    Foundation of Arts JONESBORO, AR 10/20/2016 10/24/2016
    Effingham Junior High School EFFINGHAM, IL 11/03/2016 11/06/2016
    Harrison Middle School YARMOUTH, ME 11/05/2016 11/05/2016
    Clay Middle School CARMEL, IN 11/10/2016 11/12/2016
    Osage City High School OSAGE CITY, KS 11/11/2016 11/12/2016
    J.G. Pyne Arts Magnet School LOWELL, MA 11/17/2016 11/18/2016
    Court House Players GLOUCESTER, VA 11/17/2016 11/20/2016
    Ramona Middle School LA VERNE, CA 11/17/2016 11/18/2016
    Schimelpfenig Middle School PLANO, TX 11/17/2016 11/19/2016
    Westminster Middle School OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 11/18/2016 11/18/2016
    Mount Enterprise High School MT. ENTERPRISE, TX 11/18/2016 11/20/2016
    Christian Brothers Academy SYRACUSE, NY 11/18/2016 11/20/2016
    St. Mary Catholic Secondary School PICKERING, ON 11/24/2016 11/26/2016
    Sussex School MISSOULA, MT 12/09/2016 12/10/2016
    John T. Nichols Middle School MIDDLEBORO, MA 12/09/2016 12/10/2016
    Plano Children's Theatre PLANO, TX 01/13/2017 01/22/2017
    Concord First Assembly CONCORD, NC 01/19/2017 01/20/2017
    New Explorations into Science, NEW YORK, NY 01/20/2017 01/21/2017
    Murray Hill Middle School LAUREL, MD 01/24/2017 01/25/2017
    Sonoma Valley High School SONOMA, CA 01/27/2017 02/05/2017
    St. Isaac Jogues School HINSDALE, IL 02/24/2017 02/26/2017
    North Branford Intermediate School NORTH BRANFORD, CT 02/24/2017 02/25/2017
    Shore Country Day School BEVERLY, MA 03/02/2017 03/04/2017
    Jane Addams JHS SCHAUMBURG, IL 03/03/2017 03/04/2017
    Mahomet-Seymour Jr. High School MAHOMET, IL 03/10/2017 03/11/2017
    Zionsville West Middle School WHITESTOWN, IN 03/10/2017 03/11/2017
    Buena Vista Middle School SALINAS, CA 03/10/2017 03/10/2017
    Millennium Middle School SANFORD, FL 03/10/2017 03/11/2017
    E. B. Wood Middle School ROCKVILLE, MD 03/24/2017 03/25/2017
    John Winthrop Middle School DEEP RIVER, CT 03/30/2017 04/01/2017
    Noonan Academy MOKENA, IL 03/31/2017 04/02/2017
    Our Lady of Mercy Academy PARK RIDGE, NJ 04/07/2017 04/09/2017
    St. Jude Regional Catholic School ROCKVILLE, MD 04/07/2017 04/08/2017
    Glen Meadow School VERNON, NJ 04/11/2017 04/12/2017
    Casey Middle High School BOULDER, CO 04/12/2017 04/13/2017
    Blue Mountain Middle School ORWIGSBURG, PA 04/21/2017 04/23/2017
    Grace Christian School BLACKLICK, OH 04/21/2017 04/22/2017
    Holly Springs Cultural Center HOLLY SPRINGS, NC 04/21/2017 04/22/2017
    Charlotte Country Day School CHARLOTTE, NC 04/27/2017 04/29/2017
    Judah Christian School CHAMPAIGN, IL 05/04/2017 05/06/2017
    Henderson International School HENDERSON, NV 05/11/2017 05/12/2017
    Dixie Middle School ST. GEORGE, UT 05/18/2017 05/20/2017
    Corvallis Middle School NORWALK, CA 05/19/2017 05/19/2017
    Phoenix Ranch School SIMI VALLEY, CA 05/19/2017 05/20/2017
    Jewish Comm. Center Metro West WEST ORANGE, NJ 06/08/2017 06/12/2017
    Rivertown Theaters of the Perf. Arts KENNER, LA 06/16/2017 06/18/2017
    College of Adaptive Arts SAN JOSE, CA 06/16/2017 06/17/2017
    Magnolia Arts Council MAGNOLIA, AR 06/21/2017 06/26/2017