Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway

Photo Features   Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway
 
The production, starring Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre April 13, 1960.
Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera in <i>Bye Bye Birdie</i>
Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera in Bye Bye Birdie Friedman-Abeles/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

The original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie opened at the Martin Beck Theatre April 14, 1960. The production, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, played 607 performances before closing October 7, 1961. The musical would garner eight Tony Award nominations, winning four including Best Musical.

Bye Bye Birdie tells the story of the MacAfee family and the residents of Sweet Apple, Ohio, who go topsy-turvy when teen idol Conrad Birdie comes to town to serenade one lucky fan before he joins the army. The production featured music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, and book by Michael Stewart.

The production starred Chita Rivera as Rose Grant, Dick Van Dyke as Albert Peterson, Dick Gautier as Conrad Birdie, Paul Lynde as Mr. MacAfee, Kay Medford as Mae Peterson, Michael J. Pollard as Hugo Peabody, and Susan Watson as Kim MacAfee. Rounding out the cast were Jessica Albright, Ed Becker, Vicki Belmonte, George Blackwell, Johnny Borden, Lynn Bowin, Kenny Burrell, John Coyle, Dick Crowley, Dori Davis, Jerry Dodge, Barbara Doherty, Lada Edmund, Tracy Everitt, Don Farnworth, Bud Fleming, Penny Ann Green, Amelia Haas, Lee Howard, Gary Howe, Will Jordan, Judy Keirn, Allen Knowles, Kasimir Kokich, Ed Kresley, Sharon Lerit, Marijane Maricle, Marissa Mason, Jeannine Masterson, Pat McEnnis, Tony Mordente, Oran Osburn, Louise Quick, Charles Nelson Reilly, Norma Richardson, Jimmy Sisco, Bob Spencer, Dean Stolber, Michael Vita, and Karin Wolfe.

Bye Bye Birdie features scenic design by Robert Randolph, costume design by Miles White, lighting design by Peggy Clark, and film sequences by Robert J. McCarty in association with Robert Gaffney.

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