Bye Bye Birdie

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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.

Bye Bye Birdie Quote Request & Licensing

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • 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.

  • BYE BYE BIRDIE
    A Musical Comedy
    Book by Michael Stewart
    Music by Charles Strouse
    Lyrics by Lee Adams
    Originally Produced by Edward Padula

    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

  • Full Orchestration

    3 Violins
    2 Cellos
    1 Bass

    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 Horn
    1 Trumpets I & II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    1 Piano

    2 Percussion I & II: (trap drum set & mallet instruments)

    Percussion I:
    Bells (Glockenspiel)
    Vibraphone
    Xylophone
    Chimes
    Timpani (2 drums)
    Tambourine
    Timbales
    Gran Cassa
    Snare Drum Case
    Suspended Cymbal
    Castanets
    Gourd
    Cowbell

    Percussion II:
    Trap drum set-
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum & Rack Tom
    Floor Tom
    various Cymbals
    hi-hat
    crash
    ride
    finger
    Wood Blocks (2)
    Bongos
    Large Military Snare Drum
    Gong
    Gunshot
    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.

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

  • 1        Piano Conductor’s Score
    1        Prompt Book with Vocal Parts
    30      Prompt Books with Vocal Parts
    1        Original Cast CD

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 4 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]
    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”

  • PRINICPALS
    (4 female; 5 male)

    Albert Peterson – young man in early thirties, President of Almaelou Music Corp.
    Rose Alvarez – Albert’s secretary, principal dancer and singer
    Conrad Birdie – rock star

    Mr. MacAfee (Harry) – father of Kim and Randolph
    Mrs. MacAfee (Doris) – mother of Kim and Randolph
    Kim MacAfee – 15 years old, very pretty and quite self-possessed
    Randolph MacAfee – Kim’s younger brother

    Hugo Peabody – Kim’s “steady”
    Ursula Merkle – a hyper-enthusiastic dark-haired teen friend and neighbor of Kim’s

    TEENAGERS
    (8 female; 3 male)

    Deborah Sue – Sweet Apple teenager (teen chorus)
    Margie – (teen chorus; speaks Act I, Scene 5; Act I, Scene 7)
    Alice – Sweet Apple teenager and Mayor’s daughter (teen chorus)
    Harvey Johnson – (teen chorus; speaks Act I, Scene 2)
    Helen – teenage singer (non-speaking)
    Nancy – (teen chorus; speaks Act I, Scene 5)
    Penelope – (voice; Act I, Scene 5; Act II, Scene 7)
    Suzie (non-speaking)
    Karl (non-speaking)
    Freddie (non-speaking)
    One Girl – (teen chorus; speaks Act I, Scene 4)

    ADULTS
    Mrs. Mae Peterson – Albert’s mother, the quintessential “Mamma”
    Gloria Rasputin – A big broad, tap-dancing “secretary” – Mae’s choice to replace Rosie
    Bartender (member of Male Quartet)
    Mayor – of Sweet Apple, Ohio
    Mayor’s Wife – Edna (member of Quartette, Act I, Scene 9)
    Mrs. Merkle – Ursula’s mother
    Mr. Johnson – Harvey Johnson’s father
    Conrad’s Guitar Man (non-speaking)
    Policeman – in New York train station (speaks Act I, Scene 4)
    First Reporter
    Second Reporter (non-speaking cameraman)
    Third Reporter
    Traveler – part of crowd in New York train station (speaks Act I, Scene 4 only)
    Trainman – (voice; Act I, Scene 4)

    FROM THE CHORUS (NON-SPEAKING)
    2 Sad Girls (dancers)
    Travelers (adult chorus)
    Train Station Personnel (baggage handlers, etcetera)
    Policemen (several) – New York and Ohio
    Sweet Apple Parents (adult chorus)
    2 Drum Majorettes
    TV Show Stage Crew:
    Stage Manager
    4 Stagehands
    2 Audio Men
    2 Wardrobe Women
    Doctor

    Maude – proprietor/bartender of ‘Maude’s Roadside Retreat” (member of Male Quartet)
    Dishwasher (member of Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4)
    First Customer (member of Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4)
    Second Customer (member of Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4)
    Quartet of Townspeople (men)
    Sweet Apple Shriners (dancers)

    VARIOUS VOICES
    Ed Sullivan (offstage)
    2 Reporters (additional) – [one is a cameraman (non-speaking)]
    Fred – (Act I, Scene 5)
    Lee – (Act I, Scene 5)
    Phyllis – (Act I, Scene 5)
    Four Men – (Act I, Scene 7)
    Girl – (Act I, Scene 7)
    Train Conductor – (Act II, Scene 8)
    Another Parent – (Act II, Scene 6)

    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.

    Awards (1961)

    4 Tony Awards for Musical, Director, Choreography and Featured Actor
    The Outer Critics Circle Award for Musical

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Musical Theatre Village IRVINE, CA 07/24/2015 08/23/2015
    Leavenworth Parks & Recreation Dept. LEAVENWORTH, KS 07/31/2015 08/15/2015
    Off-Beat Players Inc. DANBURY, CT 08/05/2015 08/08/2015
    Shayna Turk's Academy of Rising STARS HIDDEN HILLS, CA 08/06/2015 08/09/2015
    Sugar-Salem High School SUGAR CITY, ID 08/07/2015 08/11/2015
    Roswell United Methodist Church ROSWELL, GA 08/07/2015 08/09/2015
    Summit Theatre Group LEE'S SUMMIT, MO 08/20/2015 08/22/2015
    Katy Visual & Performing Art Center KATY, TX 08/21/2015 08/23/2015
    Crighton Players CONROE, TX 08/28/2015 09/19/2015
    Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School JACKSON, WI 10/27/2015 11/01/2015
    Waseca High School WASECA, MN 10/29/2015 11/01/2015
    Westview Jr./Sr. High School TOPEKA, IN 10/30/2015 11/01/2015
    Chelan High School CHELAN, WA 10/30/2015 11/01/2015
    Clearfield Community Arts Center CLEARFIELD, UT 11/02/2015 11/07/2015
    Lafayette High School ST. JOSEPH, MO 11/05/2015 11/08/2015
    Newberg High School NEWBERG, OR 11/05/2015 11/14/2015
    Wausau West High School WAUSAU, WI 11/05/2015 11/08/2015
    Danville Community High School DANVILLE, IA 11/06/2015 11/07/2015
    Douglas County High School CASTLE ROCK, CO 11/11/2015 11/14/2015
    Frederick High School FREDERICK, CO 11/12/2015 11/14/2015
    William Howard Taft High School SAN ANTONIO, TX 11/13/2015 11/14/2015
    R.A. Long High School LONGVIEW, WA 11/13/2015 11/22/2015
    Mid-Prairie Community High School WELLMAN, IA 11/13/2015 11/15/2015
    North Thurston High School LACEY, WA 11/13/2015 11/21/2015
    Spencerville High School SPENCERVILLE, OH 11/13/2015 11/14/2015
    Tallassee High School TALLASSEE, AL 11/14/2015 11/17/2015
    Dean College FRANKLIN, MA 11/18/2015 11/22/2015
    Lynden Performing Arts Guild LYNDEN, WA 11/19/2015 12/06/2015
    Stage Right! GREENSBURG, PA 11/20/2015 11/22/2015
    Weston Friendly Society WESTON, MA 11/21/2015 11/28/2015
    Caledonia Secondary School TERRACE, BC 12/10/2015 12/12/2015
    Drury Lane Productions, Inc. OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL 01/16/2016 03/20/2016
    The Backlot Players FORSYTH, GA 01/22/2016 01/31/2016
    Spotlight Youth Theater CARY, IL 02/12/2016 02/14/2016
    Hamilton East-Steinert High School TRENTON, NJ 02/25/2016 02/27/2016
    Theodore Roosevelt High School KENT, OH 02/25/2016 02/28/2016
    Incarnate Word Academy ST. LOUIS, MO 02/25/2016 02/27/2016
    Theatre West SUN CITY WEST, AZ 03/11/2016 03/26/2016
    Manatee Players BRADENTON, FL 03/17/2016 04/03/2016
    Uxbridge High School UXBRIDGE, MA 03/18/2016 03/20/2016
    Jonesborough Repertory Theatre JONESBOROUGH, TN 04/08/2016 04/24/2016
    Kirby Cultural Arts Complex ROXBORO, NC 04/22/2016 04/24/2016
    South Lyon East High School SOUTH LYON, MI 04/29/2016 05/08/2016
    Goodspeed Musicals EAST HADDAM, CT 06/24/2016 09/08/2016
    Dickinson County Community Theatre KINGSFORD, MI 06/25/2016 06/28/2016
    Newtowne Players LEXINGTON PARK, MD 07/07/2016 07/31/2016
    Chesapeake High School PASADENA, MD 03/15/2017 03/17/2017