Greenwood HS presents ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Cast of Bye Bye Birdie rehearse before the show. *Submitted photos

Inspired by real life sensations Elvis Presley and Conway Twitty, Bye Bye Birdie is a once again taking the stage at Greenwood Community High School on March 8, 9, and 10. Shows will start at 7:00 PM each evening. Tickets go on sale February 15, 2018 and may be purchased online at or by seeing Lisa Knartzer in the high school music department office.  Ticket rates are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seating is reserved. Tickets will also be available at the door, but in order to guarantee preferred seating they should be purchased ahead of time.

With a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse, Bye Bye Birdie became an instant hit in 1960 when it debuted on Broadway. It was quickly made into a film starring Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh and Ann-Margret in 1963. The story is just as relevant now as it was then. With lovesick teens mooning over a rock superstar, parents who are befuddled by their children’s behavior, a man who has put off love for the sake of work, the secretary who loves him more than his writing ability and a meddling mother, there’s something for everyone.

Bye Bye Birdie follows Albert Peterson (Tanner Gipson) as he learns that his biggest client, Conrad Birdie (Garrett Phillips) has been conscripted into the Army. Just as his life is crashing down around him his secretary, Rose Alvarez (Mia Carrillo), decides that she’s had just about enough and threatens to leave him if he won’t marry her and become an English teacher like he planned. In order to make enough money to start their new life together, Albert and Rose come up with a plan to write a new song “One Last Kiss” and have Conrad deliver a real kiss to one lucky fan, Kim MacAfee (Rachel Clayborn). The townspeople of Sweet Apple, Ohio and Kim, who had sworn off these ridiculous fantasies, go wild for Conrad. Mrs. MacAfee (Megan McElyea) is overjoyed to have him staying with them, but Mr. MacAfee (Haden Cain) takes more convincing. It’s not until he learns they will be featured on the Ed Sullivan Show that he begins to warm to Conrad. It seems that all is well until Albert’s mother, Mae Peterson (Rachel Turnbill), arrives with a flirty tap dancer, Gloria Rasputin (Joni Brummet), to drag him back to show business. Rose storms off in jealous and runs into Hugo Peabody (Jonathan Graber), Kim’s boyfriend, who has also become jealous of Conrad. He and Rose plot to ruin the kiss on the Ed Sullivan Show that Conrad is to give to Kim. Rose’s plan to ruin the broadcast was a success, but she isn’t done yet. She leaves Albert and heads to the local bar to live life and Kim follows her, running into local kids who also have decided they “got a lot of livin’ to do”. Afraid they are up to no good, the parents of the town go out searching and find them at the Ice House. After much confusion, Kim realizes that she really did love Hugo all along and sends off Conrad, without a goodbye kiss, and Albert realizes that he can’t lose the love of his life. He sends his nosy mother away and proposes to Rose. They go off together to Pumpkin Falls, Iowa where they will live happily ever after as the English teacher at the local junior high school and his wife.

Also featured in the production are Kaetie Reuter as Ursula, Chris Lee as Maude and Quartet member, Steven Walker, Brandon Rosado, and Max Miller as the other Quartet Members, Nate Allen as Harvey, Tatiana Andrade as Margie, Veda Craig as Alice, Allie Duncan as Penelope, Avery Graham as Suzie, Ashley Rodriguez as Nancy, Melody Simms as Helen, Helen Wise as Deborah Sue,  Ronnie Gruhlke as the Mayor, Samantha Loudermilk as the Mayor’s Wife, Kaylee Swank as Mrs. Merkle, Patrick Kear as Mr. Johnson, and Charlie Jackson as Randolph MacAfee.

As director and conductor of the show, Dan Borns states: “It’s great to see our high school students getting into playing teens and adults from this era.  I really think that audience members will enjoy stepping back with us to a simpler time.  This show is flat out fun!”

Also involved in the production staff include: Caitlin Lincourt (Pit Orchestra Rehearsal Conductor), Amy Borns (Choreographer), Amy Hayes Kendall (Assistant Director), and Tony Shea (Auditorium Director/Set Designer/Production Manager).

The production of Bye Bye Birdie at Greenwood Community High School is produced through special arrangement with Tams-Witmark.