The South Decatur High School Drama Department will present “Bye Bye Birdie,” a musical comedy in two acts, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., March 7 to 9, at the school.
SDHS Drama Director Robyn Davis described the production as a “musical-comedy satire of the 1957 teenager.”
“This was written shortly after Elvis Presley was drafted into the Army,” she explained. “All the girls at the time loved and idolized Elvis. They were devastated when he had to go off into the Army. The playwrights thought the whole thing was rather silly — the way these girls were swooning and pining away for their idol. They found it quite humorous.”
As a result, “Bye Bye Birdie” was born.
The play tells the story of Conrad Birdie, a fictitious, Elvis-like star who gets drafted into the Army. According to Davis, Conrad Birdie’s name is a play on the name of another famous musician of the day: Conway Twitty.
“Back then,” Davis said, “Twitty was considered a rival of Elvis; he was more known for rock music than for country in those days.”
The playwrights didn’t expect their creation to become a hit, Davis added, but it did. They were shocked when teens across the county loved it.
“It did really well on Broadway,” Davis said. “And there’ve been two movie versions. Lots of theaters around the country do this play on a regular basis, and we’re pretty pleased to be staging it here at South Decatur.”
She added, “The kids had a lot of fun with it, and so did I. We’ve worked really hard, and we’re ready. We’re excited to show it to the community and feel confident people will enjoy watching as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together and staging it.”
Those who’ve seen the Broadway or movie versions of the play might be worried the play won’t fall in line with the typical, family-friendly fare staged at SDHS.
Davis stressed, however, that she works really hard to edit out objectionable from each SDHS production. “The original versions aren’t always family friendly, but ours is.”
The production will include a roughly 15-minute intermission with low-price concessions available.
“We’re offering a fun, inexpensive night out for the family,” Davis said.
Tickets to the production are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call or email Robyn Davis at 812-591-8232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011