Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, who is no stranger to donning drag to play protective mother figures, will play Mae Peterson in the Kennedy Center's upcoming presentation of Bye Bye Birdie. The Hairspray favorite will appear alongside Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek, who'll star as Albert.
The cast of the Washington, D.C. production will also feature Carly Hughes (Pippin) as Rose Grant, Tony nominee Caitlin Kinnunen (The Prom) as Ursula Merkle, Mallory Bechtel (Dear Evan Hansen) as Kim MacAfee, Ann Harada (Avenue Q) as Doris, and Tony nominee Reg Rogers (Tootsie) as Harry.
Susie Carroll, Micah Cook, David Aron Damane, Julian De Guzman, John Treacy Egan, Michael Hoey, Evan Kinnane, Liz McCartney, Nova Y. Payton, Trevor Michael Schmidt, Megan Sikora as Gloria Rasputin, Riza Takahashi, and Dori Waymer will appear in the ensemble. Additional casting—namely the central role of Conrad Birdie—will be announced later.
The 1960 musical, featuring a score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams and a book by Michael Stewart, rounds out the Kennedy Center's current season of its Broadway Center Stage series, following stagings of Footloose and Next to Normal (the latter led by Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones).
Rounding out the creative team are music director Todd Ellison, set and projection designer Paul Tate DePoo III, lighting designer Cory Pattak, and costume designer Amy Clark.