One of the most popular high school musicals will hit the stage of The Armidale School’s Hoskins Centre next week as Bye Bye Birdie is brought to life by students from TAS, New England Girls’ School and PLC Armidale.
Inspired by the hype surrounding the conscription of entertainer singer Elvis Presley into the US Army in 1957, the musical is a satire on American life at the time, particularly its teenage obsession with celebrity and small-town gossip.
Much-adored rock-and-roll singer Conrad Birdie has been drafted into the US Army. Concerned about the implications on their business, his songwriter and agent Albert Peterson and his faithful secretary and companion Rosie come up with a farewell performance on television during which he will perform a new song that will sell like hot cakes and save the recording label from ruin. However the involvement of a devoted fan, her jealous boyfriend and Albert’s domineering mother sets the plan on an altogether different path, resulting in an entertaining comedy of errors.
“It’s a Broadway classic and a widely popular high school musical also well known to many for the film starring Dick van Dyke. It’s got all the brightness and fun of the nineteen fifties but is also a good story of empowerment particularly for the character Rosie,” said director Andrew O’Connell.
“The students are really enjoying the music and great dance numbers, which include songs which will be familiar to many including ‘Telephone Hour’, ‘Put on a Happy Face’ and ‘Lot of Livin’.
Rehearsals started for the show last year, and included a drama camp during the summer school holidays.