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
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.
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
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
~ Cast ~
Paul Williams, Benjy Malings, Dylan Mulvaney
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