The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for Bye Bye Birdie

A whole lot of gossip and news

Nolan Gerard Funk #5914 photo credit David Giesbrecht
Curtain up on Bye Bye Birdie!

The Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie starts previews this evening. The production, which stars Gina Gershon, John Stamos and Nolan Gerard Funk will officially open on October 15 at the brand new Henry Miller’s Theatre.

O’Hara returns to South Pacific!
Another exciting bit of news: Kelli O’Hara, who took a leave of absence to welcome her first child back in March, returns to Broadway’s South Pacific on Oct. 13.

A new Woodstock musical is in the works
Michael Lang, one of the producers of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, is working on a Broadway musical based on his memoir, “The Road to Woodstock.” He’s reaching out some of the surviving artists from Woodstock for possible contributions to the production. No information about a cast or creative team has yet been announced.


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West Side Story no longer bilingual; Fez hat dance scene cut from Bye Bye Birdie

The bilingual West Side Story revival, which incorporated “the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs,” is reverting back to English.

This week, two songs that had previously been performed in Spanish – “A Boy Like That” (“Un Hombre Asi”) and “I Feel Pretty” (“Siento Hermosa”) are now being delivered mostly in English. The Spanish sung by the Sharks in the “Tonight” quintet is now some of the only Spanish that remains in the show.

Arthur Laurents who wrote and directed the musical said that “from the outset, the Spanish in West Side Story was an experiment. It’s been an ongoing process of finding what worked and what didn’t, and it still continues.”


Another big change is in store for a classic Broadway musical according to Gina Gershon, the actress playing Rose in Broadway’s upcoming production of Bye Bye Birdie. One of the big dance numbers in the show, in which Rose is traditionally chased by a number of men wearing fez hats, has been cut from the production because producers thought it “a little too gang rape-y.” Read the full article here.

I was pretty taken aback by these drastic (and in my opinion, unnecessary) changes. How about you?


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Get in Line for Broadway’s Bye Bye Birdie, right now.

Tickets go on sale for Broadway’s Bye Bye Birdie today at noon. If you’re in NYC, get over to the box office now. Those who line up today can:

Purchase $10 tickets for the first preview of Bye Bye Birdie; limit of two tickets per person.

Meet the star who will play Conrad Birdie — Nolan Gerard Funk — and composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams.

Win prizes: the first 50 fans in line will receive a Bye Bye Birdie lunchbox, and one lucky lunchbox will contain two tickets to the opening-night performance and after party with the cast; One person will alsowin an original Bye Bye Birdie Playbill from 1960 and have it autographed by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams.


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Full Cast and Creative Team Announced for Broadway’s Bye Bye Birdie

Director/choreographer Robert Longbottom has finished casting Broadway’s upcoming production of Bye Bye Birdie, which starts previews at Henry Miller’s Theatre on September 10 and opens October 15.

As previously announced, the show will star John Stamos (Cabaret, Nine) as Albert Peterson, Gina Gershon (Cabaret, Boeing-Boeing) as Rose Alvarez, Bill Irwin (Waiting for Godot, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) as Mr. Harry MacAfee, Jayne Houdyshell (Coraline, Wicked, Well) as Mrs. Mae Peterson, Dee Hoty (Mamma Mia!, Footloose) as Mrs. MacAfee, Matt Doyle (Spring Awakening) as Hugo Peabody, Molly Ephraim (Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods) as Ursula Merkle, Jake Evan Schwencke as Randolph MacAfee, Allie Trimm (13) as Kim MacAfee and Nolan Gerard Funk as Conrad Birdie.

The rest of the cast will include Catherine Blades, Deanna Cipolla, Paula Leggett Chase, Riley Costello, John Treacy Egan, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Todd Gearhart, Patty Goble, Suzanne Grodner, Robert Hager, Nina Hennessey, Natalie Hill, Julia Knitel, Jess Le Protto, David McDonald, JC Montgomery, Jillian Mueller, Paul Pilcz, Daniel Quadrino, Emma Rowley, Tim Shew, Kevin Shotwell, Allison Strong, Jim Walton, Brynn Williams, and Branch Woodman.

On the creative team are Andrew Jackness (set design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Tom Clark/Acme Sound (sound design), Howard Werner (projection design), David Holcenberg (musical direction), Howard Joines (musical coordination), David Brian Brown (hair  and wig design), Jonathan Tunick (orchestrations) and David Chase (music supervision).

The musical, with a book by Michael Stewart, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams, took home four Tony Awards in its initial run on Broadway, including that for Best Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical.

With all the buzz this show has already generated, it looks like it may nab a few more in its return to the Great White Way!


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Complete Bye Bye Birdie Cast Announced

Fragments of casting announcements had been leaking out, but now the casting for the Robert Longbottom-directed revival of Bye Bye Birdie is complete. Here it is:

Nolan Gerard Funk as Conrad Birdie
John Stamos (“ER,” Nine) as Albert
Gina Gershon (Boeing-Boeing) as Rosie
Bill Irwin (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) as Harry MacAfee
Dee Hoty (Will Rogers Follies) as Mrs. MacAfee
Jayne Houdyshell (Well) as Mae
Allie Trimm (13) as Kim MacAfee
Matt Doyle (Spring Awakening) as Hugo Peabody
Molly Ephraim (Fiddler on the Roof) as Ursula Merkle
Jake Evan Schwencke as Randolph MacAfee

The rest of the cast includes Deanna Cipolla, Paula Leggett Chase, Riley Costello, John Treacy Egan, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Todd Gearhart, Patty Goble, Suzanne Grodner, Robert Hager, Nina Hennessey, Natalie Hill, Julia Knitel, Jess Le Protto, David McDonald, Jillian Mueller, Paul Pilcz, Daniel Quadrino, Devin Richards, Emma Rowley, Tim Shew, Kevin Shotwell, Alison Strong, Jim Walton, Brynn Williams and Branch Woodman.

The show will be directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom (Side Show), with a book by Michael Stewart, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. Bye Bye Birdie‘s design team includes Andrew Jackness (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Acme Sound (sound design) and David Chase (music supervisor).

Birdie will be the first show to open at the new Henry Miller’s Theatre (124 West 43rd St) on Oct. 15 and run through Jan. 10, 2010.


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