Bye Bye Birdie review

The auditorium is packed with hundreds, the lights start to flicker on and off telling people to get to their seats.  I sit down as the lights darken, and the overture begins.

This past weekend the GHS thespians brought “Bye Bye Birdie” to life.  When the draft selects rock star Conrad Birdie (Garrett Phillips), his fans are devastated, but none more than struggling songwriter Albert Peterson (Tanner Gipson), whose song Birdie was just about to record. Albert’s longtime girlfriend, Rosie (Mia Carillo), pushes Albert to write a new tune that Birdie will perform on television to a fan selected in a contest.

I went to see the show on Saturday with a couple of my friends, and I thought the show was fantastic.  First, I must give props to the outstanding acting during the show.  Throughout the whole performance, every actor stood out to me in one way or another, even if they only had a few lines.  For example, Sam Bass, played multiple roles. I thought he played the train conductor well.  He may have had few lines, yet his performance still shone through as I felt like I was at the train station.  Or, Samantha Loudermilk as the part of the mayor’s (Ronnie Gruhlke) wife.  As I recall, she did not have any lines in this part and if she did only a few, but nonetheless her role stood out to me because her fall to the floor during the performance of “Honestly Sincere” looked so real.  Also, I thought that they did a great choice casting the leads in this production.  Tanner Gipson as Albert and Mia Carillo as Rose were perfect fits for each other’s personalities.  The performance everyone gave was stellar, and they all deserved the applause they got.

Another part that deserved applause were the beautiful sets.  Each one had their own twist that made them unique, and it was obvious the production team worked hard on them.  My favorite would have to be the MacAfee house.

The music might have been my favorite part of the whole thing.  Everyone did an excellent job singing.  I had watched the preview of the show during PowerHour on Friday and listened to some of the songs from the musical already.  However, when I heard the cast’s version of the songs, I wanted to have a copy to listen to for whenever I wanted.  I do not think I have ever had a point in my life when I would have rather had another version to listen to besides the original cast, but this musical was it.

However, a production would not be a production without a couple of snags.  The only two I noticed on Saturday were a couple of microphones tuning out and trouble with getting the backdrop for the train station to rise during Act 1.   Even with these snags, the cast and crew were able to persevere.  That was something I was proud of, as a writer, to happen because I wanted to know how the crew would deal issues.

Overall, I thought this musical was amazing.  My favorite performances were “The Telephone Hour,” “Honestly Sincere,” and “Spanish Rose”.  I really loved the first two because the cast communicated well with what they had to do and when they had to do it.  I really do have to hand it to Mia Carillo for being able to switch in between English and Spanish so easily during “Spanish Rose.” Everyone did amazing and deserve recognition for their performances.  This was my first time going to see the musical, and even though it is my senior year, I will be coming back next year to attend the next one.

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