Bye Bye Birdie is a tale of two worlds. One is the world of America’s top rock star, Conrad Birdie and the other is the far more typical world of small town middle America. When rock star Birdie is drafted into the Army his manager arranges a huge publicity stunt where Birdie travels to Sweet Apple, Ohio to give his one final kiss as a civilian to a young girl who is president of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club. But nothing goes very much as planned.
The good news is that a long simmering love between Birdie’s manager Albert Peterson and his secretary/assistant/partner Rose Alvarez takes a long overdue turn for the better. This classic story has been on the Broadway stage and the big screen and now it is on stage at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, California presented by Young Stars Theatre.
Typical of Young Stars Theatre’s unique approach Bye Bye Birdie is presented by two different casts. One is the “Rock” cast and is an appropriate mix of both young and adult actors while the “Roll” cast is made up entirely of young actors.
For over sixteen years now Jack and Gloria Bennett, the powers that are the Young Stars Theatre, have devoted their lives to giving aspiring youth a real shot at the performing arts. Many of their protégé have moved on to bigger and better things on stage and on camera. And in the process Young Stars Theatre also offers great entertainment to the audience. Bye Bye Birdie is no exception.
It is true that particularly amongst the younger cast members their talents have not completely developed, yet through good guidance and direction they do nonetheless present a very pleasant show. I must say that the one truly wonderful stand out performer in the show I saw with the “Rock” cast was the utterly captivating and smoking hot Tara Cox as Rose Alvarez. She performs a song and dance routine in Act Two that is pure magic.
If you can accept a show that is a wee off of let’s say Hamilton on Broadway but nevertheless very pleasant and entertaining by all means do get over to the Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, California. But don’t wait. Bye Bye Birdie runs now through October 23rd, 2016 with show times Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
You may book your reservation online at: YoungStarsTheatre.org/tickets or by calling: 626-269-3609.
Photos by Jack J. Bennett
Top photo: Back: (L-R) Jasmine Einbinder, Meera Sinroja, Stephanie Harvey, Stacy Toyon, Elliott Scott,
and Shaina Hammer; Front: (L-R) Mirai Booth-Ong, Chloe Lesieur, Tony Prichard and Clara Daly.
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.