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.

  • Book by Michael Stewart
    Music by Charles Strouse
    Lyrics by Lee Adams
    Originally Produced by Edward Padula

  • 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”

  • Principals

    (4 female; 5 male)

    Albert Peterson
    Rose Alvarez
    Conrad Birdie

    Mr. MacAfee (Harry)
    Mrs. MacAfee (Doris)
    Kim MacAfee
    Randolph MacAfee

    Hugo Peabody
    Ursula Merkle

    Teenagers

    (8 female; 3 male)

    Deborah Sue
    Margie
    Alice
    Harvey Johnson
    Helen
    Nancy
    Penelope
    Suzie (non-speaking)
    Karl (non-speaking)
    Freddie (non-speaking)
    One Girl

    Adults

    Mrs. Mae Peterson
    Gloria Rasputin
    Bartender (member of Male Quartet)
    Mayor
    Mayor’s Wife
    Mrs. Merkle
    Mr. Johnson
    Conrad’s Guitar Man (non-speaking)
    Policeman
    First Reporter
    Second Reporter (non-speaking)
    Third Reporter
    Traveler
    Trainman

    From the Chorus (non-speaking)

    2 Sad Girls (dancers)
    Travelers (adult chorus)
    Train Station Personnel
    Policemen (several)
    Sweet Apple Parents (adult chorus)
    2 Drum Majorettes
    TV Show Stage Crew:
    Stage Manager
    4 Stagehands
    2 Wardrobe Women
    Doctor

    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)

    Various Voices

    Ed Sullivan (offstage)
    2 Reporters (additional)
    Fred
    Lee
    Phyllis
    Four Men
    Girl
    Train Conductor
    Another Parent

    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
    El Camino Community College TORRANCE, CA 04/18/2015 05/03/2015
    Menomonie High School MENOMONIE, WI 04/23/2015 05/01/2015
    San Leandro High School SAN LEANDRO, CA 04/24/2015 05/03/2015
    Orangewood Christian School MAITLAND, FL 04/29/2015 05/01/2015
    Waynesboro Players, Inc. WAYNESBORO, VA 04/30/2015 05/03/2015
    Orchard Farm High School ST. CHARLES, MO 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Greater Atlanta Christian School NORCROSS, GA 04/30/2015 05/03/2015
    The British International School of NY NEW YORK, NY 04/30/2015 05/01/2015
    Hillgrove High School POWDER SPRINGS, GA 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    White Mountains Regional High School WHITEFIELD, NH 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Charleston High School CHARLESTON, IL 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Mahtomedi High School MAHTOMEDI, MN 04/30/2015 05/03/2015
    St. Petersburg Catholic High School ST. PETERSBURG, FL 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Flint Hill School OAKTON, VA 05/01/2015 05/04/2015
    Riverdale Community Ctr. Inc. at MS 141 BRONX, NY 05/01/2015 05/02/2015
    King Kekaulike High School PUKALANI, HI 05/01/2015 05/10/2015
    St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School NEW YORK, NY 05/01/2015 05/02/2015
    San Carlos Children's Theater SAN CARLOS, CA 05/01/2015 05/10/2015
    Bishop Stang High School NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA 05/01/2015 05/03/2015
    Kasson-Mantorville High School KASSON, MN 05/01/2015 05/03/2015
    Hancock High School KILN, MS 05/01/2015 05/09/2015
    Stages, A Children's Theatre Wksp, Inc. EAST HAMPTON, NY 05/02/2015 05/03/2015
    Granville High School GRANVILLE, OH 05/02/2015 05/03/2015
    Harpeth High School KINGSTON SPRINGS, TN 05/02/2015 05/04/2015
    Landmark School PRIDE'S CROSSING, MA 05/07/2015 05/09/2015
    Assumption Jr/Sr High School COLD LAKE, AB 05/07/2015 05/09/2015
    Newsome High School LITHIA, FL 05/07/2015 05/09/2015
    Trinity High School MANCHESTER, NH 05/07/2015 05/09/2015
    Lakeview Academy SARATOGA SPRINGS, UT 05/08/2015 05/10/2015
    Performing Arts Center of MetroWest FRAMINGHAM, MA 05/08/2015 05/10/2015
    Madison County High School GURLEY, AL 05/08/2015 05/09/2015
    Liberty Christian Academy LYNCHBURG, VA 05/08/2015 05/16/2015
    Livermore High School LIVERMORE, CA 05/08/2015 05/16/2015
    Richland High School RICHLAND, WA 05/08/2015 05/16/2015
    Moses Brown School PROVIDENCE, RI 05/14/2015 05/16/2015
    Franklinton High School FRANKLINTON, NC 05/14/2015 05/16/2015
    Burgundy Farm Country Day School ALEXANDRIA, VA 05/14/2015 05/16/2015
    Richey Suncoast Theatre NEW PORT RICHEY, FL 05/14/2015 05/31/2015
    Island Players SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, GA 05/15/2015 05/31/2015
    New Foundations Charter School PHILADELPHIA, PA 05/15/2015 05/17/2015
    Copenhagen Central School COPENHAGEN, NY 05/15/2015 05/16/2015
    Pelion Middle School PELION, SC 05/21/2015 05/22/2015
    Belmont Day School BELMONT, MA 05/28/2015 05/29/2015
    Woodside Elementary School WOODSIDE, CA 06/03/2015 06/06/2015
    Springville Playhouse, Inc. SPRINGVILLE, UT 06/05/2015 06/27/2015
    Parlando School for the Arts BOULDER, CO 06/05/2015 06/07/2015
    East Side Players Inc. CINCINNATI, OH 06/06/2015 06/15/2015
    Abbott Middle School SAN MATEO, CA 06/11/2015 06/13/2015
    Wilson Performing Arts Center RED OAK, IA 06/12/2015 06/21/2015
    Anna Arts Center ANNA, IL 06/19/2015 06/21/2015
    Jefferson College HILLSBORO, MO 06/19/2015 06/27/2015
    Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota ROCHESTER, MN 06/25/2015 06/28/2015
    Hanover Arts & Activities Center ASHLAND, VA 06/26/2015 06/28/2015
    Queen Creek Performing Arts Center QUEEN CREEK, AZ 06/26/2015 06/29/2015
    Wagon Wheel Theatre WARSAW, IN 07/01/2015 07/11/2015
    Super Summer Theatre LAS VEGAS, NV 07/08/2015 07/25/2015
    California Musical Theatre SACRAMENTO, CA 07/08/2015 07/12/2015
    Ruston Community Theatre RUSTON, LA 07/09/2015 07/12/2015
    Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH 07/10/2015 07/26/2015
    Valley Musical Theatre Company ELLENSBURG, WA 07/10/2015 07/18/2015
    Epping Community Players EPPING, NH 07/10/2015 07/26/2015
    Mineral Area College PARK HILLS, MO 07/15/2015 07/18/2015
    Marilyn Izdebski Productions SAN ANSELMO, CA 07/16/2015 07/18/2015
    Swamp Fox Players GEORGETOWN, SC 07/17/2015 08/02/2015
    Mount Vernon Community Theatre MOUNT VERNON, MO 07/23/2015 07/26/2015
    Maysville Players MAYSVILLE, KY 07/29/2015 08/02/2015
    Brighton School District ROCHESTER, NY 07/29/2015 07/30/2015
    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
    Roswell United Methodist Church ROSWELL, GA 08/07/2015 08/09/2015
    Sugar-Salem High School SUGAR CITY, ID 08/07/2015 08/11/2015
    Crighton Players CONROE, TX 08/28/2015 09/19/2015
    Wichita Center for the Arts, Inc. WICHITA, KS 09/18/2015 09/27/2015
    Lafayette High School ST. JOSEPH, MO 11/05/2015 11/08/2015
    Drury Lane Productions, Inc. OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL 01/16/2016 03/20/2016
    The Backlot Players FORSYTH, GA 01/22/2016 01/31/2016
    Theodore Roosevelt High School KENT, OH 02/25/2016 02/28/2016
    Manatee Players BRADENTON, FL 03/17/2016 04/03/2016
    Jonesborough Repertory Theatre JONESBOROUGH, TN 04/08/2016 04/24/2016
    Kirby Cultural Arts Complex ROXBORO, NC 04/22/2016 04/24/2016
    Newtowne Players LEXINGTON PARK, MD 07/07/2016 07/31/2016