Until now I didn’t think going to the theatre could be perfect. However, having a fabulous dinner at the recently reinvigorated Lucille restaurant proved me wrong, but that’s another post. As always Drury Lane does an outstanding job with yet another flawless musical. We love being invited to Drury Lane Theatre Opening Nights. They always dazzle us with a great show and Bye Bye Birdie being one of our absolute favorites was glorious. Although, if you’ve never seen it before you may find the first half to be more upbeat than the second. That may just be my bias towards the first few songs though.
Bye Bye Birdie has never been more relevant. We live in an age of fangirls. Literally that is something you can identify yourself as and this gives you a peek at one of the first fan girl sensations. Conrad Birdie is an homage of Elvis Presley. A star that while imperfect affected an entire generation. Although, the point here is that not just the younger generation is afflicted with the feels. The internet has made being a fan easier but the point of Bye Bye Birdie is that we all enjoy sharing our feelings but what is most important is still our personal connections. We may idolize stars but even if we can’t sing as well as the Drury Lane cast, we can still receive love from our friends and family.
The entire ensemble is delightful. I don’t think I can write enough good things about all of them. They give a great performance especially to The Telephone Hour. The song that if you don’t like then we really can’t be friends. Cole Dolman did not disappoint as Harvey Johnson running from one side of the stage to the other. With standout performances by Leryn Turington and Michelle Aravena, their voices were truly show stopping. We loved the tap dancing by Matt Crowle. Of course there is the swoon-worthy portrayal of Conrad Birdie which Jason Michael Evans did with swathes of charisma.
From Ursula to Mrs. Peterson the casting was spot on. We loved everyone and the night could not have been better. Even the heartfelt fan cries from the audience only improved our viewing experience. The show is entirely meant to be shared. I definitely think this is by far a crowd pleaser. One to be shared with everyone you know. We can all connect with the themes of being caught up in the throw of fanaticism be it over a singer or your favorite talk show host. Seriously, you know one of your parents has probably lit up like Harry MacAfee (played by George Andrew Wolff) at the mention of Ed Sullivan.
I doubt I could encourage my family to sing in harmony in such a way, but if they would then I would want it to be exactly like the MacAfee’s praise for Ed Sullivan. Even now I can hear that harmony. With the troubles of an average family playing out in Bye Bye Birdie you get the same sweet resolution. The parents must accept that their children will grow up and that they will make informed choices. You can only hope that you’ve taught them well and that they won’t dismiss the Hugos and the Roses of the world.