Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Bye, Bye Birdie"

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entire contents copyright 1997 by Don Gillis

"Bye, Bye Birdie"

Reviewed by Don Gillis

"Bye, Bye, Birdie"
Book by Michael Stewart
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Lee Adams

Directed, Produced, Costumed and Set Designed by Mike Goodreau
Assistant Director Lindsay McNally
Musical Director/Pianist Lynda Zenofsky
Choreography by Mike Goudreau
Assisted by Aimee Bouchard, Kristen Dakake, Lindsay McNally, Tara Osborne

CAST

Albert J. Peterson.................................Felix Santana
Rose Alvarez.....................................Angela Pettiway
Conrad Birdie/Harold............................Robbie Himebaugh
Kim Macafee/Mae Peterson........................Nicole Brissette
Hugo F. Peobody/Policeman/Shriner................Justin Robidoux
Ursula Merkle/Mrs. Johnson.......................Kelli-Ann Bliss
Harry Macafee/Karl/Charles F. Maude................Mike Goodreau
Doris Macafee...................................Norma Fothergill
Randi Macafee.......................................Tracy Trudel
Mayor/Reporter/Policeman/Shriner....................John Lincoln
Mayor's Wife/Julie...............................Lindsay McNally
Ethel Merkle........................................Luisa Vieira
Gloria Rasputin.................................Lindsay NcNally
Nancy.................................................Sarah Chin
Helen............................................Lindsey Vizvary
Margie...........................................Naomi Wilkinson
Alice...............................................Nicole Bliss
Roger/Guitar Man/Shriner/Conductor...................Sean Weiner
Suzie.............................................Alison Randall
Harvey Johnson......................................John Lincoln
Penelope Ann Henkle...............................Kristen Dakake
Deborah Sue Miller...................................Jackie Carr
Lee................................................Tanya Pacheco
Sad Girl.....................Alexis Lourenco, Danielle Mastacerz
Sad Boy............................................Evan Lourenco


"Bye, Bye, Birdie" opened on Broadway on April 16, 1960 at the Martin Beck Theatre, New York, and tells of the story of Albert Peterson (a budding songwriter-agent) and his faithful secretary (Rosie Alvarez). Added to that is Albert's meddling mother (Mae Peterson, who wants her son to herself, despite the fact that he is in love with Rosie. But of course, he cannot marry her, because Momma always makes him feel guilty for one reason or another. The subplot involves the teenagers who are going wild about CONRAD BIRDIE (an Elvis Presley type) who has a devastating effect on his songwriter agent Albert, and for that matter, the entire country, when they announce that he would be drafted into the Army. Albert sends Conrad to Sweet Apple, Ohio, where he meets the President of his fan club, Kim Macafee who is going to deliver a "one last kiss" on the Ed Sullivan show before he goes into the Army. This is a strictly-for-laughs look at the music and sounds of the1960's.

Curtain Call Theater is a small community theater that began several years ago, when Mike Goodreau decided that he wanted to start a theater group. He has seen his 23rd production with "Bye, Bye, Birdie." Mike has been an inspiration to many young talented actors, singers, and dancers around the local area who are interested in theater. "Bye, Bye, Birdie" is a perfect vehicle for those who are just starting in theater. As I watched this production tonight, I thought, wow...it's refreshing to see YOUNG kids that are interested enough to give up time to devote to the theater.

One of the youngest kids on stage was Evan Lourenco, who looked as if he was having a great time! And the chorus of teenage boys and girls were a pleasure to watch as they sang and danced. I have to mention the younger generation, because I am getting older and I know that they are the future for us!

The overall production was certainly entertaining enough, with musical director/pianist Lynda Zenofsky keeping a watchful eye on the cast, doing an outstanding job, with some very fine voices, especially the girls' vocals. The entire ensembles are to be commended for their singing talents.

Some scene stealer's were Nicole Brissette, who played a dual role --- Kim Macafee, and Albert's chronically pained mother. She did a wonderful job in both roles, and she has a beautiful voice!

Felix Santana who played Albert, had that beleaguered hang dog look of a second rate Broadway hustler. He also has a pleasant singing voice, and to me it looked as though he finally got comfortable in the second act.

Angela Pettiway played Rosie, the long suffering secretary to Albert, and she too looked the part, but was especially good when she sang...she had a beautiful voice and knew how to use it.

Kelli-Ann Bliss got a few chuckles from me as she portrayed Ursula Merkle, Kim's girlfriend. She had that stage presence to make her character work and it showed. It's not a big part, but Kelli got my attention.

The girls in the chorus were LOUD when they screamed for CONRAD BIRDIE.... I think you could hear them in downtown Providence...which is about ten miles away!

Mike Goodreau played several roles, but he was especially effective as Harry Macafee, the father who gets no respect. He knew the role and it was evident to the audience. His stage presence was unbeatable in this production. Norma Fothergill played his spouse Doris, with ease and looked like she enjoyed her role.

John Lincoln was especially good as he had four roles to play, and he did them well . He (along with the rest of the male cast) changed the set pieces.

Lindsay McNally was in dual roles, the mayor wife, and Gloria Rasputin. I thought she did a great job in both roles.. The other cast members are on their way to become a part of the wonderful world of "live theater."

"Bye, Bye, Birdie (till 25 October)
CURTAIN CALL THEATER
Blackstone Valley Historical Society. Old Louisquisset Pike, LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND
1(401)727-3883

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