'Bye Bye Birdie' casting call

| 31 May 2012 | 01:27

    SUSSEX — Cornerstone Playhouse is holding auditions for an all-student cast of "Bye Bye Birdie," which will be presented at the end of July.

    Students from first-grade through college are invited to audition for the summer musical — the full version of the beloved show.

    Cornerstone member Ray Gelpke, a familiar face on stage at Cornerstone and a frequent director for high school and grammar school productions, will direct the show.

    All roles are open and there is a very large and active chorus throughout the show.

    In addition to the parts (listed below) there are parts for great character actors in Albert's mother Mae, the mayor and his wife, and a male quartet in "Talk to Me.” There is also a part for a young boy, age 10 to 12 for the role of Randolph MacAfee.

    Casting auditions will be held on Sunday, June 3 at 6 p.m. and Tuesday June 5, at 7 p.m. Auditioners should have a Broadway show song prepared for the audition and bring the sheet music for the accompanist. A simple dance routine will be taught so auditioners should wear comfortable shoes. Auditions are held at the Crescent Theater at 74 Main St., Sussex.

    For additional information call Artistic Director Scott Mason at 973-875-8465.

    About the characters "Bye Bye Birdie" tells the story of a rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army. Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type, has a pompadour and thick sideburns; he wears gaudy gold costumes and speaks in a rugged voice. Albert Peterson, his agent, is a very pleasant, mild mannered young man. Albert's faithful secretary Rose Alvarez keeps him and Birdie moving forward in the world. Rosie concocts one final national publicity plan before Conrad's induction.

    Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an all-American kiss. Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio, wins the honor. All of the phones in her town are already busy during "The Telephone Hour," a fun musical number, as Kim has just been pinned to Hugo, a local boy. She is a pretty girl of 15 and sings with springlike ardor "How Lovely to Be a Woman," as she pulls on the plaid woolen socks and the baggy mustard colored sweater considered stylish and popular among young ladies.

    The arrival of Birdie in Sweet Apple causes people of all ages to swoon. Birdie says that his success is due to the fact that he is "Honestly Sincere" when he sings, and the quiet little town goes into a spin. The MacAfee household is completely upset by the visiting celebrity. It is decided that Birdie will give his "One Last Kiss" on the Ed Sullivan show. Kim's father, who laments the whole uproar, tries to break into the act and behaves like a ham on the TV show. "Hymn for a Sunday Evening" is a salute to the greater glory of Ed Sullivan.

    Birdie becomes disgusted with his life and goes out on the town with the teenagers. He feels tense with Albert and is tired of being supervised. The parents of Sweet Apple cannot understand the new generation and express this in "Kids." Rosie, still waiting for that band of gold from Albert after eight years, invades a Shriners' meeting. An extremely hilarious ballet ensues. She then decides to become the Latin American spitfire that she is painted as, by Albert's lead-footed catastrophe-ridden mother. She is determined to become "Spanish Rose." Kim is reunited with Hugo, and Rose with Albert in the lovely number "Rosie." Other hit numbers include "A Lot of Livin' to Do" and "Put on a Happy Face."