Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hello Birdie?

Hello Birdie?

According to Liz Smith in Variety, Bye Bye Birdie may be headed toward a Broadway revival. Smith gushes in her column that "Charles Strouse says he'll bring his all-American musical Bye Bye Birdie back to the Roundabout!"

The tuner with book by Michael Stewart and score by Lee Adams and Strouse has never before been revived on the Great White Way.

Its one and only run began April 14, 1960 and ran for 607 performances. The original production garnered eight Tony nominations including for Best Musical, as well as for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Dick Van Dyke, who was catapulted to superstar status.

Chita Rivera received her first of nine Tony nominations for her work. Van Dyke and Rivera reunited during the run of her Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life to relive a bit of Birdie when they sang "Put On A Happy Face."

Although a revival has never made it to Broadway, there was an attempt to bring back Birdie via the ill-fated 1981 sequel Bring Back Birdie that closed on Broadway after just four regular performances. Not even Chita Rivera's star power could keep that open, but she did manage a Tony nod yet again.

My only experience in ever seeing Bye Bye Birdie in its entirety was through a high school production when I was just a kid (my sister portrayed one of the swooning teens).

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 08 November, 2007, Blogger SarahB said...

Let's talk casting! What not her...hmm, no not him...uh...well...I can't think of anybody who could fill these pairs of shoes. Sigh.

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

How about this for a turnabout is fair play.... Gavin Lee from Mary Poppins in the Dick Van Dyke role?!

At 08 November, 2007, Anonymous Gene in Mpls said...

I like your idea. I saw this once while I was at Syracuse where Carolyn Kirsch was brought in to do the Rosie role. I also saw Lenora Nemetz opposite Tommy Tune years ago in Saint Paul with Marilyn Cooper as the mother....
Gavin Lee would be great and as long as Rosie isn't O'Donnell I'm open to suggestions....
Now, will anyone know what "The Ed Sullivan Show" was?

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Esther said...

It is a great idea! I loved Gavin Lee in "Mary Poppins." He is so talented and funny and charming.

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

How about John Tartaglia in the Paul Lynde role? Am I dating myself that I know who Ed Sullivan was???

Here's another suggestion - for Conrad Birdie, how about Joe Mandragona, who was the best thing about the recent tour of All Shook Up?

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Speaking of the incomparable Chita Rivera, click here for photos from her brand new gig at Fierstein's at the Regency. I caught her act there about 2 1/2 years ago and was WOWed!

She is one living legend who just keeps on giving! Gotta love her.

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger SarahB said...

Okay, spot on, for Lee and Tartaglia...but hmmm, no Rosie in mind? How about Natascia Diaz for Rosie? She can sing AND she can dance.

At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Or Natalie Toro, a real spit fire... (although I do wonder if they'd be looking for a well-known actress).

At 08 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that the Tommy Tune tour 10 years or so ago featured then-unknowns Susan Egan and Mark Kudisch....

Would be very cool to have Cheyenne Jackson play Birdie although I think he may have a TV gig coming up...

In the Dick Van Dyke role, maybe Steve Kazee?


At 08 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Michael, I regret totally missing 110 In The Shade so I must admit that I've never seen Steve Kazee on stage.


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