Director Judi Turley and the Scholastic Team for Arts and Greater Enrichment (S.T.A.G.E.) captivated audiences with the play, Bye Bye Birdie at the Madison Civic Center.
Originally opening on Broadway in April 1960, with a cast of Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, Bye Bye Birdie became an instant hit with audience members, propelling the play to run for 607 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre and a movie with megastar Ann Margaret.
Students in this year’s production represented a diverse sampling from area schools. Cast included fourth graders from Ramage Elementary school, as well as Madison Elementary school up to high school seniors from all three area schools – Scott, Van, and Sherman High schools.
Bye Bye Birdie follows several other successful productions from the volunteer members who make up S.T.A.G.E., including Grease, Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, The Sound of Music, Annie, Mr. Scrooge, Hello, Dolly! And L’il Abner.
This makes the eleventh county-wide musical for the students and communities in Boone County.
Volunteers included Robin Bailey-Bunch, of the WVU Extension and 4-H. She was the director, conductor and operated keyboard during the production.
Also volunteering many years of expertise was Boone County Strings Teacher Kimberly Graham, playing cello the evening of the show’s closing performance. Scott High school Band Director Gene Mills accompanied the orchestra during the performance by playing the sax.
Also representing music in Boone County schools, April Estep, music teacher at Ramage Elementary school, played trombone.
Lights, costumes, sound, and stage – all important components to any theatrical production -- were handled by student crew members from area high schools.
The plot of Bye Bye Birdie revolves around a rock and roll superstar, Conrad Birdie (thus the title of the play) and his agent, Albert Peterson.
As Birdie is drafted into the armed forces, teenage girls flock to wave goodbye to the music heartthrob. Part comedy and part love story, Bye Bye Birdie is the coming-of-age story of its time and the area youth in Boone County have done the play justice with their rendition at the Madison Civic Center.