By Andrew Gans
15 Jul 2008
Directed and choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld, the production will play the Massachusetts venue through Aug. 3. Opening night is scheduled for July 17 at 7:30 PM.
The cast is led by Chicago's Bianca Marroquin as Rose, Beauty and the Beast's James Patterson as Albert and Eric Ulloa as Conrad Birdie with Ari Butler (Hugo Peabody), Madeleine Doherty (Doris Macafee), Mary-Pat Green (Mae Peterson), Alessa Neeck (Kim Macafee), Robert Saoud (Harry Macafee) and Adam Piispanen (Randolph Macafee).
The ensemble comprises Edward M. Barker, Jeremy Benton, Joe Bowerman, Shavanna Calder, Elizabeth Clinard Gina Duci, AJ Hughes, Laura Irion, Swampscott native Andy Jones, Charlie Logan, Paul Miller, Peter Mills, Mara Newbery, Ellen Peterson, Scott P. Sambuco, Dawn C. Tucker and Kirstin Tucker.
|photo by Paul Lyden|
The 39-member cast also showcases 13 local youth performers: Bethany Boccia (from Beverly), Victoria Brandano (Rowley), Eva Rae Costanza (Burlington), Erica Courtney (Danvers), Alex DeLeo (North Reading), Corey Desjardins (Andover), Brian Dillon (Dracut), Rachel Fairbanks (Chelmsford), Samantha Mason (Salisbury), Wendy Mellin (Andover), Nicole Soriano (Middleton), Jessica Starbard (Lynn) and Trisha Whitlock (Concord).
In a previous statement North Shore artistic director and executive producer Barry Ivan said, "Given that Bye Bye Birdie is a story primarily about teenagers, we are thrilled that we have been able to cast some of our most talented local youth in the show as part of the ensemble and showcase the immense talent that comes from our local communities. What is fascinating and timely about this 1961 Tony Award-winning musical is how its theme is relevant in today's society regarding paparazzi and our fascination with pop icons."
Bye Bye Birdie features a book by Michael Stewart, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. The musical, according to press notes, "revolves around rock 'n' roll superstar Conrad Birdie (loosely based on Elvis Presley), who, to the dismay of his adoring fans, is about to be drafted into the army. . . .Comic complications ensue when, as part of one last publicity stunt cooked up by his agent, he promises to give a good-bye kiss to one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.'" The score features such tunes as "How Lovely to Be a Woman," "The Telephone Hour," "Put On a Happy Face," "A Lot of Livin' to Do" and "One Last Kiss."
The creative team also includes Ann Shuttlesworth (musical director), Howard C. Jones (scenic designer), Kimberly Wick (costume designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), John A. Stone (sound designer), Gerard Kelly (wig designer), Joe Bowerman (associate choreographer), Laurie Silipigno (production stage manager) and Alicia Reese (assistant stage manager).
Tickets, priced $40-$77, are available by calling (978) 232-7200 or by visiting www.nsmt.org. The North Shore Music Theatre is located at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA.