Look Back at Chita Rivera and Donald O'Connor in Bring Back Birdie on Broadway

From the Archives   Look Back at Chita Rivera and Donald O'Connor in Bring Back Birdie on Broadway
 
The sequel to Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway on March 5, 1981.
Bring Back Birdie_Broadway_Production Photos_1981_X_HR
Chita Rivera and Frank DeSal Martha Swope/New York Public Library

Two decades after the original 1960 production of Bye Bye Birdie and its subsequent 1963 film adaptation, writers Michael Stewart, Lee Adams, and Charles Strouse penned the sequel Bring Back Birdie, which opened on Broadway on March 5, 1981. The production, which starred Chita Rivera (Birdie's original Rosie) and Donald O'Connor (replacing Dick Van Dyke as Albert), closed on March 7, 1981, after 31 previews and four performances.

Bring Back Birdie takes place 20 years after Conrad Birdie left for the Army at the end of Bye Bye Birdie and promptly vanished. Rose and Albert, now married, must find Birdie again for an appearance on the Grammy Awards broadcast, while also contending with rebellious children and other calamities.

Despite the show's brief life, Rivera earned both Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations.

Flip through photos from the production below:

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