Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Little Bit of Broadway

This morning at church someone asked me what I was going to play this afternoon. When I replied I hadn’t decided yet, one of the teenagers said to play something about teenagers. Well, that brings up several choices! And they are all good

We will start with Bye, Bye, Birdie, inspired by the the King of Rocka nd Roll's, popular singer Elvis Presley, 1958 draft notice.

Cool tidbit: The rock star character's name, "Conrad Birdie," is word play on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty is best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but before that, in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley's rock 'n' roll rivals.

Act 1
An English Teacher – Rosie & Albert
The Telephone Hour – Teenagers
How Lovely to Be a Woman – Kim
Put on a Happy Face – Albert
A Healthy, Normal, American Boy – The Company
One Boy – Kim, Deborah Sue, Alice
Honestly Sincere – Conrad Birdie, Ursula, and Teenagers
Hymn for a Sunday Evening – The MacAfee Family & Company
One Last Kiss – Conrad & Company

Act II
What Did I Ever See in Him? – Rosie & Kim
A Lot of Livin’ to Do – Conrad, Kim & Teenagers
Kids – Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee
Baby, Talk to Me – Albert & Quartet
Kids (Reprise) – Adults, Mr & Mrs Macafee, Randolph
Spanish Rose – Rosie
Rosie – Rosie & Albert

Music: Charles Strouse
Lyrics: Lee Adams
Book: Michael Stewart

Original cast
Albert Peterson – Dick Van Dyke
Rosie Alvarez – Chita Rivera
Conrad Birdie – Dick Gautier
Kim MacAfee – Susan Watson
Mr. MacAfee – Paul Lynde
Mrs. MacAfee – Marijane Maricle
Mrs. Mae Peterson – Kay Medford
Hugo Peabody – Michael J. Pollard
Mr. Henkel – Charles Nelson Reilly

The other classic “teenage” musical is set in 1959. Grease follows ten working-class kids as they navigate the complexities of love, cars, and drive-ins. The score attempts to re-create the sounds of early rock and roll although it has been smoothed out as it has evolved over the years. A lot of the smoothed out happened with the movie. Many of the songs written for the movie have found their way into the stage score.
Summer Nights
Greased Lightnin’
Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee
We go together
Hopelessly Devoted to you
Beauty School Dropout
You’re the one that I want

Music, Lyrics, Book: Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey

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