Every girl remembers her first teenage crush on a rock star. Lyric Theatre brings the classic musical, Bye Bye Birdie to the Civic Center Music Hall this weekend.
With Book by Michael Stewart, Music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams, Bye Bye Birdie is inspired by Elvis Presley’s receipt of his draft notice. In Birdie, Elvis-esque rock star Conrad Birdie (Eric Ulloa) is drafted into the Army and travels to small town, Sweet Apple, Ohio to give fan club member, Kim MacAfee (Meredith Tyler) “One Last Kiss” goodbye as a final promotional stunt.
Large musicals have several elements that must all come together to form a great show. Bye Bye Birdie’s colorful costumes, lights and flexible set took the audience back to the 1950’s for an enjoyable evening.
Directed and choreographed by Lyn Cramer, this production has some brilliant moments, specifically in the dance numbers. Because of it’s large (and highly energetic) ensemble cast, several musical numbers could have proved challenging. Cramer’s choreography specifically shone during a classic tap dance in “Put on a Happy Face” and in “Shriner’s Ballet.”
The cast as a whole is wonderful, but the ensemble specifically does a great job keeping up the pace to help the show move smoothly from scene to scene. Tyler portrays a sweet and endearing Kim McAfee and perfectly captures the typical 1950’s teenage girl. Sweethearts Albert Peterson (David Elder) and Rosie Alvarez (Kat Nejat) share witty banter throughout the show. The chemistry between the talented Nejat and Elder is perfect. It is difficult to pinpoint individual actors for their performances because there are so many fantastic characters in Lyric’s Birdie.
Bye Bye Birdie plays through Saturday, June 30th at the Civic Center Music Hall. For tickets, call the Lyric Theatre box office at 524-9312 or visit the Lyric website at lyrictheatreokc.com.
– Victoria Stahl