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Published: Thursday, 6/21/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Huron Playhouse says hello to 'Bye Bye Birdie'

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rose Alvarez (Emily Casale) and Albert Peterson (Brady Miller) in a scene from the Huron Playhouse production of 'Bye Bye Birdie,' which opens Tuesday at the McCormick School in Huron, Ohio. Rose Alvarez (Emily Casale) and Albert Peterson (Brady Miller) in a scene from the Huron Playhouse production of 'Bye Bye Birdie,' which opens Tuesday at the McCormick School in Huron, Ohio.
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HURON, Ohio -- The Huron Playhouse opens its 2012 season reviving the musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie Tuesday through June 30.

The playhouse first performed Birdie 50 years ago, said director Heather Williams. "It's been a long time, but it's a really popular show in the community venue. Several people have been in it in certain times of their lives; it's very familiar and nostalgic for many of our patrons."

Conrad Birdie, played by Ryan Dawley, is a rock-and-roll star loosely based on Elvis Presley, who also was drafted into the Army. Birdie's secretary Rose Alvarez, played by Emily Casale, and manager Albert Peterson, played by Brady Miller, devise a media blitz to secure the star's popularity. They stage a contest for the lucky winner, Kim MacAfee played by Lauren Rainey, of the fictitious town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, to receive Birdie's kiss on The Ed Sullivan Show. Included in the cast is Caitlin Hamm as Mae Peterson, Albert's nosy mother.

Birdie opened on Broadway in April, 1960, and ran for 607 performances, closing in October, 1961. It won four 1961 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Actor (Dick Van Dyke). Its October, 2009, revival of 117 performances closed in January, 2010.

The1963 film adaptation of the same name starred Van Dyke reprising his award-winning role as Albert Peterson from the Broadway production.

The 37-member Huron cast includes a teen ensemble, children's choir, and several company and community performers. Musical numbers include "Spanish Rose," "The Telephone Hour," "Put on a Happy Face," and "Kids."

"Bye Bye Birdie" will be performed at 8 p.m. nightly Tuesday through June 30 by the Huron Playhouse in McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron, Ohio, about 65 miles southeast of Toledo. Tickets are $17 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $13 for children 11 and younger. Information: 419-433-4744.

Lively Hills

PERRYSBURG -- The von Trapp family brings life to the stage this weekend as Perrysburg Musical Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music Thursday through Sunday at Perrysburg High School.

This production includes two sets of young actors playing the von Trapp children and includes about 36 youths in the children's choir singing German songs. The theater works to engage children, said Carrie Sanderson, who is directing the musical with Kathy Belsole.

"One of our mission statements is to get as many children as involved as we can as well as community members. I think that, through the mode of the theater, so many skills are taught: time management, responsibility, teamwork, dedication. Then, of course, it's a natural high when you're on stage."

The cast includes Betsy Hermann as Maria, Michael Searle as Captain von Trapp, Lane Hakel as Max Detwiler, and Sharon Dendinger as Elsa Schraeder. The actors will be accompanied by local musicians and members of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Amanda Pochatko.

"The Sound of Music" will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with 2 p.m. matinee performances Saturday and Sunday at Perrysburg High School, 13385 Roachton Rd., Perrysburg. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Information: 419-470-9016 or PerrysburgMusicalTheatre.org.

Edinburgh bound

Notre Dame Academy Theatre Arts Program has been chosen from more than 160 high schools to perform later this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and will be raising funds this weekend at the school to defray the cost.

Students and recent graduates will give preview performances Friday and Saturday of a Deadly Medley, based on a comedic look at typical William Shakespeare plays read by high school students. Additional performances will be July 13 through July 15 in Columbus.

Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, will be held Aug. 3-27 in Edinburgh, and will feature 2,000 performances of music, theater, comedy, and dance.

"Deadly Medley" will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday at Notre Dame Academy Performing Arts Center, 3535 W. Sylvania Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Additional performances will be held July 13 through July 15 at Ohio Garden Theatre Green Room Space in Columbus. Information: 419-475-9359 or nda.org.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com



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