A rock 'n' roll heartthrob in suburban America, a middle-class family on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and an overbearing mother running her son's life: Welcome to Sweet Apple, Ohio, 1950, and to Stockdale High School's spring production of "Bye Bye Birdie."
The story follows Conrad Birdie (Alex Mazzeo), a rock star about to be drafted into the Army. His manager, Albert Peterson (Noah Evans), and loving secretary, Rose Alvarez (Darby Sward), plot to have Conrad bestow one last kiss on Kim MacAfee, an unsuspecting Sweet Apple teenager, portrayed by Megan Bryant.
The cast features 53 young actors and a full orchestra under the direction of John Biller. Susan Walters is the vocal director for the show. Sam Jenkins has designed a colorful set that gives a quiet nod to Andy Warhol. There is a portrait painted for the set by art students Lisa Noriega and Julienne Shin under the direction of Linda Hyatt.
"I have loved working on this Tony Award-winning musical," said director CJ Pope. "I am truly proud that our entire department works on making the show special. Even though the show is set in the 1950s, there are still elements that resonate today. Celebrity and the obsession with rock stars and reality stars make this show relatable today."
Stockdale junior Zach Noriega, who plays Mr. MacAfee, embraced the opportunity to look back.
"I love this show and the whole vintage feel. I learned how to dial a rotary phone!"
Enthusiasm for the show has prompted the drama club to create a Conrad Birdie fan club.
"You can become a member and receive a button and a certificate," said club secretary Megan Bryant. "New members will be sworn in on opening night."
-- Maya Moore, a Stockdale High student, has a role in "Bye Bye Birdie"