Bye Bye Birdie is a 1960 musical
by Charles Strouse
), Lee Adams
), and Micheal Stewart
), one of the first successes for the Strouse/Adams team. I have the good fortune to be in a local production
of this musical.
The comedic romance of the two leads, Albert (a bankrupt music agent) and Rosie (more than a secretary) centers around the drafting of Albert's only star: Conrad Birdie, a.k.a. me.
The show itself is a lot of fun, and its dated-ness only adds to its charm. The characters are cute and amusing caricatures, the plot predictable yet entertaining. Albert and Rosie find themselves in the quintessential small town, filled with teenagers from the 1950's that never was, as part of a promotion in which Conrad is bestow "One Last Kiss" upon a lucky young girl before going into the army. The music, aside from Put on a Happy Face, is appropriate yet largely forgettable as is characteristic of most show tunes.
Specifically for the part of Conrad: the pelvic thrusting and swiveling has not proven difficult to master, nor the audacious hypersexualized Fonz-like persona required for the part. I recommend the role, in general, but I believe that in my earnest efforts to play the part as conceived I may have disturbed my fellow amateurs (of both sexes). Please be advised to mind the "creepiness" threshold of your company and behave disarmingly when not in character.