It’s 1958 — and Conrad Birdie is coming to the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio to plant “One Last Kiss” on 15-year-old Kim MacAfee’s lips. The story continues as Kim’s family gets ready to appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” where Conrad Birdie will be serenading Kim. The audience will remember most of the songs, including the title song, “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Put on a Happy Face,” Lot of Livin’ to Do,” and We Love You Conrad.” The musical provokes memories of the glory days of the ‘50s and ‘60s when Elvis and Conway Twitty made a young girl’s heart flutter.
This is the 7th Har Shalom Players show that Director Shelly Horn has produced: “I can’t wait for opening night. This is the best show yet. ‘Bye Bye Birdie’” is a timeless, musical comedy that all generations will enjoy. We perform in the round, so there is constant movement and interaction with the audience. Many of the actors in the 54-member cast have been with me for all seven shows — certainly a testament to their sense of community, support and commitment to great theatre.”
Janet Ozur Bass is playing Mrs. MacAfee in the show — and she is also the wife, aunt and mom of four members of the cast. Her son Kalman is Hugo, her husband is Maude, the bartender, her niece Emily Dahl is Ursula and her daughter Beyla is in the children’s ensemble. Bass explains what the show means to her: “What I love most about working on the show each year is what a great opportunity it is for community building within the Har Shalom family. Many of us have been working together for years on productions, and when we see each other at the auditions, it’s a big reunion. At the same time, we also have the chance to welcome new faces and talent to the mix. The shows are not only a great showcase for community theater, they are also a wonderful opportunity for Sabbath observant families, like my own, to have fun with theater. We get the chance to see our kids grow up each year and take on bigger challenges and roles. ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ is a great show for just that. The kids are great — and their enthusiasm is totally infectious.
“The best part about working with Har Shalom is that everyone genuinely just wants to have a good time. That doesn’t happen with most theatre companies any longer. It’s refreshing.”
The Har Shalom Players will present “Bye Bye Birdie” on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. For a sneak peek of “Bye Bye Birdie” in rehearsal, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+GOGV0bZzKc8.
General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children (under age 13). Patron tickets, which include reserved upfront seating and parking, are $75 for adults and $36 for children (under age 13). Tickets can be purchased online at www.harshalom.org or at www.tinyurl.com/BirdieTix. For information on group sales, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-299-7087, Ext. 302. Ticket pick-up and check-in begins one hour prior to the show.