Those attending the Titusville High School musical this year will be transported back in time to when Elvis Presley was “The King” of rock-and-roll and the Ed Sullivan Show was a must-watch.
This year’s production, “Bye Bye Birdie,” boasts a cast of 15 students.
The story is loosely based on what happened with Elvis Presley, before he was drafted into the military.
Conrad Birdie, played by Jeremiah Mohnkern, a popular musician who is based on Elvis, will be leaving for the military, leaving his fan club devastated.
Before he leaves, however, he plans to perform one last publicity stunt and kiss a high school girl after singing one final song.
The songwriter, Albert Peterson, played by Bryce Preston, hopes to have his song sung by Birdie and then move away with his longtime girlfriend, Rose Alvarez, played by Brianna Baron, much to the dismay of Peterson’s meddling mother, Mae, played by Samantha Prichard.
“It’s about the main character, Albert, being Conrad’s music producer, trying to be an English teacher,” said director Andrea Fenske. “They’re trying to make enough money before Conrad goes into the military, so they plan this whole big scheme where he’s going to kiss a teenager from his fan club.”
Fenske is co-directing the show with Kevin Vinson.
The plan to have Birdie kiss a teen girl in his fan club ends up causing more of a ruckus than initially intended, putting a strain on Peterson.
Additionally, Peterson struggles to keep his mother’s influence out of his relationship.
“There’s a lot of comedic relief in the show,” Fenske said. “It’s definitely intended to be a comedy. There are a few [characters] that really stick out, but I don’t want to give that away to the audience.”
Both Vinson and Fenske feel that the audience will enjoy the humorous aspects of the show, so long as the crowd isn’t afraid to laugh along or react at the right moments.
“I hope that we have a large audience all three nights to watch it,” Vinson said. “I hope that the kids do as well as what they’ve practiced. They’ve put in two months of rehearsals, so I hope that they keep their focus as they’re going through, and that they feel strong about their performances afterward and they’re happy with how it went.”
Vinson said that his role as the music director brings his focus to the songs in the show more so than the acting.
Because of this, he cited the song, “Spanish Rose,” performed by Rose, as one of his favorite scenes from the show.
Fenske felt that the show as a whole would be pleasing to the audience, as the kids involved in the production had worked very hard.
“Their hard workers,” Fenske said. “They’re definitely dedicated, and they’ve worked really hard to put this show together.”
The show will have its opening night today, at 7, at Colestock Auditorium, with encore performances at the same time on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets are available at the door.
Dodd can be reached by email, at email@example.com.