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Clifton-Fine staging “Bye Bye Birdie”


STAR LAKE — With nearly 20 shows under her belt since second grade at Clifton-Fine Central School District, from musicals to dramas, senior Lindsay E. Johnson is happy to be flying the coop with the upbeat “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“It’s definitely an interesting show to keep your attention,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

“Bye Bye Birdie” is a satirical look at an Elvis Presley-like character’s Army induction and its effect on the American music scene and its fascination for youth. The musical is the winner of eight Tony awards, including best musical and best featured actor in a musical, Dick Van Dyke.

The show, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams and book by Michael Stewart, had 607 performances on Broadway from April 1960 to October 1961.

In the musical, Conrad Birdie’s agent, Albert Peterson, and his secretary, Rose Alvarez, concoct one final national publicity stunt before Conrad’s induction into the Army. Conrad will bid a typical American teenage girl goodbye with a kiss, which is to occur on live TV on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

“It’s all the drama that comes with small towns and big stars,” said instrumental music teacher Lauren R. Hearne, who co-directs the musical with vocal music teacher Sara Wollf.

Lindsay plays Rose Alvarez.

“She likes things done her way,” she said. “It’s a snap-your-fingers kind of thing.”

Mrs. Hearne said this production of “Bye, Bye Birdie” has a cast of approximately 30 students in grades six through 12.

“That’s large for this school,” Mrs. Hearne said. “We wanted to involve as many kids as we possibly could.”

Hits in “Bye, Bye Birdie” include “Put on a Happy Face,” “The Telephone Hour” and “One Last Kiss.”

Junior Jacklynne M. Durham plays Mae Petersen, the over-protective mother of Albert, Conrad’s manager.

“I love getting to be dramatic to the point where it’s just crazy,” Jacklynne said of her non-singing role. “My character goes off on these long tangents trying to get her son to do everything she wants him to do, not what he wants.”

Jacklynne said audiences will experience an interesting mix of music and drama in “Bye, Bye Birdie.”

“It’s a very intricate plot where all the stories mesh together,” she said. “Everyone’s life is so dramatic.”

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The cast of "Bye Bye Birdie” at Clifton-Fine Central School District:

Dylan Martin as Albert Peterson, Lindsay Johnson as Rose Alvarez, Maiah Peters as Kim MacAfee, Robert Frazier as Conrad Birdie, Allison Rust as Mrs. Doris MacAfee, William Sealander as Mr. Harry MacAfee, Adam Guiles as Randolf MacAfee, Jacklynne Durham as Mae Peterson, Rachael Eibert as Ursula Merkle and Jonah Trembly as Hugo Peabody.

Also, Robert Muncil as Harvey Johnson/shriner, Zana Northrup as Helen/sad girl, Cheyenne Cole as Alice, Shania Muncil as Margie/Gloria Rasputin, Taylor Durham as Nancy/Deborah Sue, Leanna Schoff as Penelope, Trey Guiles as the mayor, Malaya Durham as the mayor’s wife, Chad Kerr Jr. as Maud/teen, Timothy Levy as Mr. Johnson/a shriner/teen, Keaton Backus as shriner/teen/reporter and Jaden Green as shriner/teen,

Also, Wyatt Simmons as Freddy/teen/reporter/shriner, Logan Lutz as shriner/reporter/teen, Joseph Peabody as Lee/reporter/teen/shriner, Lexus Ritz as Phyllis/teen, Lydia Kerr as sad girl/teen and Savannah Crane as an “adult.”

The details
WHAT: “Bye Bye Birdie,” presented by students at Clifton-Fine Central School District.
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the middle/high school auditorium, 11 Hall Ave., Star Lake.
COST: $7 for adults and$6 for students and senior citizens.
OF NOTE: There is a spaghetti dinner at 5 p.m. Friday. Cost, in addition to the show, is $7 for adults, $6 for students and free for children under 5.
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