EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Winans sent this review to STAGE via the contact form on our website. A member of the Footlighters Theater had asked Ms. Winans to write a review to submit to STAGE because, due to scheduling constraints, we were unable to send one of our staff members to cover this production. STAGE will not make a practice of posting reviews from members of the community on our website. Fans of STAGE may use our Facebook page to post their personal thoughts on area productions. Because Ms. Winans’ writing style was in keeping with our reviewing quality and in the interest of promoting this subscribing theatre, I am publishing this review. Ms. Winans has disclosed that she has worked at this particular theatre in the past, and now that she has joined our staff, going forward, she will not be assigned to this venue, in order to avoid perceived conflicts of interest.
BYE BYE BIRDIE, currently running at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn under the direction of Carmen Rossi and assistant director Megan Goehring, is a toe tapping, laugh inducing, monster success!
A young Kim McAfee is quickly introduced as the lucky girl chosen to be kissed by Conrad Birdie, the national teenage icon. Kim (Ashley O’Connor) showcases her extraordinary vocal talent in many songs, most notably “How Lovely to be a Woman”.
The show also follows the ups and downs of the unfulfilled relationship between Conrad’s manager, Albert Peterson and his assistant, Rose Alvarez. Albert (Danny Scott) sings memorable songs such as “Put on a Happy Face” and “Rosie”. Danny has an incredible tenor voice and fantastic acting abilities. Sarah Sperling (Rose) shows amazing stage presence and her dance techniques were well showcased in the magnificent choreography (Cassandra Morabito) of the “Shriner’s Ballet” and “Spanish Rose”.
The two are consistently at odds through the meddling antics of Albert’s mother, Mae (Mary McAvoy), whose guilt-inducing banter brings instantaneous applause and laughter.
The female chorus, headlined by Ursula (Elizabeth Cascarelli), was absolutely hilarious. Their enthusiasm and strong voices brought an amazing energy to their performances. The cast’s show stopping numbers, such as “Honestly Sincere”, soon had the entire house equally devoted to Conrad Birdie. Conrad (Joe Mancini) coupled his charisma and dancing with strong vocal abilities, leading to a breakout performance.
Other notable performers included Sue Scott, with her Lucy-like comical rendition of the ever-swooning Mayor’s Wife, and a very distraught Hugo Peabody (Niko Torres), yearning for the love of his steady, Kim.
Music director, Lori Sitzabee, directs a wonderful live pit featuring pianist Keith Clattenberg, and Jason Kramer’s set design reflected the story perfectly.
Come out to Footlighters Theatre to experience the laughter and joy this magnificent show brings! Remaining performances include: June 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30PM; and a matinee performance, June 17 at 2:00PM.
Don’t miss an amazing trip to Sweet Apple, Ohio!!
BYE BYE BIRDIE
Directed by Carmen Rossi
Assisted by Megan Goehring
Musical Direction by Lori Sitzabee
Choreography by Cassandra Morabito
Through June 23, 2012
58 Main Ave