Spring Arbor University’s theater and music departments team up to bring Bye Bye Birdie to stage in a joint production Feb. 14-17. The show will take place in White Auditorium on Feb. 14, 15, 16, at 8 p.m., and on Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. The cost is $8. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 517.750.6500.
The show is directed by Paul Patton, department head and associate professor of communication, who selected the musical that is based on two dominant themes: Idolatry of the cult of celebrity and the televisionization of reality.
“Bye Bye Birdie was the first musical theater to deal with what cultural analyst, Daniel Boorstin, in his book, The Image, called the pseudo-event, and the cultural evolution that went from honoring ‘heroes’ to worshipping ‘celebrities,’” says Patton.
Regarding the televisionization of reality, remember that the television was still in its adolescence as an entertainment medium. Neil Postman, would two decades later describe television as the primary medium by which we ‘amuse ourselves to death.’”
Patton also believes it is important satire. “Bye Bye Birdie satirizes our propensity to forget that as worshipping creatures, we’ll make false gods of about anything, be it hip-shaking pop ‘stars’ or selfish ambition (Albert’s, not ours),” says Patton.
This well-known musical follows the events of a teenage girl, her family, friends, and entire town when teen idol Conrad Birdie comes to town. Well-known songs include the title song, “What’s the Matter With Kids Today?” and “Put on a Happy Face.”
The cast includes:
- Joshua Cloyd/Ethan Lampe as Albert Peterson
- Chelsea Johnson/Stephanie Nelson as Rosie Alvarez
- Callie Cothern as Kim McAfee
- Ethan Bentle/Evan Bronkema as Harry McAfee
- Mary Holbrook/Brooke Kirkpatrick as Doris McAfee
- Connor Cheyne/Jonathan Caldwell as Conrad Birdie
- Ryan Crisenberry as Hugo Peabody
- Kristen Larson/Heather Lamb as Ursula Merkle
- Jared Bugbee as Randolph McAfee
- Taylor Keating as Charles Maude
- Desirae Taylor as Mrs. Peterson
- Brian Weber as Mayor
Chorus: Ann Broda, John Broda, Brittani Browne, Kayla Chenault, Gillian Compton, Angela Dickenson, Arianna Drake, Angela Engnell,Abby Kittle, Leah Hubbard, Marcella Lampe, Chloe Cryderman, Jaycie Littley,Sarah Lehman, Alexa Matthews, Tony Mayotte, Christopher McEachran, Paul McKinley, Sharron Pettus, Sarah Prewitt, Chris Rutenber, Serenity Sanders, Allison Webb, Gracie Wilson
Tickets are $8, and reservations are recommended. For more information or to reserve your ticket, call 517.750.6500. To learn more about art at Spring Arbor University, visit arbor.edu.