Bye Bye Birdie
by ACT-San Diego

Anyone who has ever seen the classic piece of American musical theatre called Bye, Bye, Birdie knows that it is an uproarious, toe-tapping, laugh-a-minute show with a cast of lovable, kooky characters. Thankfully, anyone who went to see ACT-San Diego’s recent production of this musical was not disappointed. The production team and the cast definitely brought on the uproar, the toe-tapping, and more than one laugh-a-minute. 

Actor Paul Williams paid comedic homage to Dick Van Dyke as he channeled the famous comedian’s quirks and timing in the role of Albert Peterson, the shy, sweet talent agent of teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie. Balancing Paul’s performance was Satya Chávez who played the witty and sassy Rosie Alvarez, Albert’s assistant and long-time romantic interest. Satya’s vocals were spot on and the comedic timing she shared with Paul made their scenes some of the best of the night. 

Kimberly Marron took the stage as the sweet and innocent Kim MacAfee, the young lady who was chosen at random to receive Conrad’s last kiss before he is drafted into the army and shipped off to war. Kimberly’s voice was pure and clean, and her performance was sugary sweet, a perfect contract to Matt Maretz’s portrayal of the aloof and sometimes daft Conrad Birdie. 

Also of note was Torrey Mercer’s over-the-top performance of Albert’s mother Mrs. Mae Peterson. Torrey approached the role with all of the commitment and fortitude of a tried and true stage performer, and though the character was grating at times, the actress was definitely right on target with her drooping stockings, fur coat, and Brooklyn dialect dripping with guilt and sarcasm. 

Other notable performances included Eric Huckabee and Beth Abramowitz as Kim’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee, Jake Ellis as Kim’s little brother Randolph MacAfee, Gracie Condon as Kim’s best friend Ursula Merkle, and Karina Rodriguez as the new chorus girl in town, Gloria Rasputin. 

Though sometimes a little too loud for the small space, Tim McKnight’s exceptional five-piece orchestra definitely kept the rock feel of the late 50s, and as always, Leigh Scarritt’s direction produced some powerhouse voices that kept the rafters shaking all through the evening. 

Varying slightly from the traditional script, this production’s finale featured a full-cast rendition of the well-known song Kids, which asks the question, “What’s the matter with kids today?” Well, if this production has anything to say about it, the answer is “Not a thing. Not a thing at all.” 

Performed June 4 - 6, 2010

Walter Allen
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Albert Peterson: Paul Williams, Benjy Malings, Dylan Mulvaney
Rosie Alvarez:
Satya Chávez, Haley Doyle, Timrya-Joi Beatty
Conrad Birdie:
Matt Maretz, Jordan Cavanaugh
Kim MacAfee:
Kimberly Marron, Tina Peterson, Madison Simpson
Mr. Harry MacAfee:
Eric Huckabee
Mrs. Doris MacAfee:
Beth Abramowitz, Marissa Lebert, Celia Tedde
Mrs. Mae Peterson:
Torrey Mercer, Lindsay Mtgang, Julia Vanderwiel
Ursula Merkle:
Gracie Condon, Lily Detwiler, Alyson Tharp
Randolph MacAfee:
Jake Ellis, Leif Isaacson, Mo Vanderwiel
Gloria Rasputin:
Karina Rodriguez, Jenn Fasulo
Hugo Peabody:
Mitchell Connelly, Jonathan Edzant, Patrick Clark
Harvey Johnson:
Mason Mercer, Galileo Resca-Candini, Isaac Resca-Candini
Mrs. Merkle:
Kyra Heenan, Emily Laliotis
Mrs. Johnson:
Mallie Koczon
Evelyn Sparks, Felicity Bryan
Deborah Sue:
Victoria Sharif, Lou Rasse
Joshua Guicherit
Happy Face Dancers:
Moriah Grant, Samantha Pollak, Amy Atun, Victoria Ross, Kelly Gitre, Kaleigh Stegman
Michelle Cohen, Emma Rasse
Dominica Savant-Bunch, Mariangela Nava
Eliana Payne, Emma Ford
Kelly Gitre, Natasha Partnoy
Tess Maretz, Esmé Birndorf
Kaleigh Stegman, Julia Way
Kaia Ray Crusberg, Camille Krzyston
Sweet Apple Citizens:
Skyler Andrews, Trinity Beatty
T. V. Crew Director:
Vanessa Sharif
T. V. Crew Make-up Artist:
Gellie Ivie


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