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Westfield Sumer Stage Presents 'Bye Bye Birdie'

More than 60 middle and high school students from Northern Virginia will take to the Westfield High School stage from July 27-29 for four productions of “Bye, Bye Birdie,” the 2006 Westfield Summer Stage musical.

Performances are on July 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m., with a bargain matinee set for Saturday, July 29, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for all evening performances and $5 for the Saturday matinee. Tickets can be purchased online through PayPal at www.westfieldtheatreboosters.com, or in person at the box office during any performance.

"BYE, BYE BIRDIE" is the story of rock and roll superstar and teen heart-throb Conrad Birdie (Joe Machak, Oakton High School), who is drafted into the army in the early 1960s. Birdie’s songwriter, Albert, played by Kevin Manship (recent Westfield graduate and freshman at Elon University) and Albert’s secretary, Rosie, played by Courtney Knickerbocker (Westfield High School), hatch a public relations plan to have Birdie kiss a randomly chosen member of his fan club on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, is 15-year-old Kim McAfee, (Sarah Cowdery, Westfield High School). When Birdie breezes into Sweet Apple, he causes nothing but chaos, especially affecting Kim’s boyfriend, Hugo (Daniel Calabrese, Westfield High School) and Kim’s parents Doris (Haydn Haring, Langley High School) and Harry (Stephen Hatch, Westfield High School).

Other actors featured in the show include Neil Gunn, Garrett Henson, Jade Jones, Claire Manship, Ben Reese, Carey Jarosik, Nicole Bonfiglio, Leslie Roth, Phoebe Dillard, Samantha Henry, Lindsay Thomas, Adam Thomas, Russell Wagoner, Aaron Pendola, Nick Cirillo, Adrienne Ginter, Kerry Quinn and Hannah Ehreth, plus a large ensemble of singers and dancers from Westfield High School, Stone Middle School, Rachel Carson Middle School, Stonebridge High School, Stonewall Jackson High School, and others.

This family-friendly musical was written by Charles Strouse, Lee Adams and Michael Stewart. “Bye, Bye Birdie” opened on Broadway on April 14, 1960 and ran for 607 performances, with such memorable tunes as "Put on a Happy Face," "Kids," "Spanish Rose," and "The Telephone Hour." Dick Van Dyke and Ann-Margret starred in a screen version of the musical hit in 1963. Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams led a TV version in 1995.

The musical is directed by Lori Knickerbocker and Zoë Dillard, with music direction by Charlie Manship and choreography by Yvonne Henry. Katie Grimsland is the stage manager and Kelsey Gaber and Mariam Haider are the assistant stage managers. Nancy Rolfe is the costume designer.

WESTFIELD SUMMER Stage, now in its sixth year, is a four-week musical theatre workshop to middle and high school actors in Northern Virginia offering students an intensive rehearsal schedule and opportunity to meet peers from other schools. The workshop culminates in a full musical that is presented to the public.

Previous Summer Stage shows include “Annie,” “Snoopy,” “Peter Pan,” “Grease,” and last year’s five sold-out performances of “Beauty and the Beast.”

All performances of “Bye Bye Birdie” are in the Westfield High School auditorium, 4700 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly, near the intersection of Route 50 and Stonecroft Boulevard.

For more information about “Bye Bye Birdie,” call the Westfield Summer Stage box office at 703-488-6439.