UPDATED May 6, 2016:
“Bye Bye Birdie” was recently nominated for Outstanding Overall Production and Outstanding Supporting Actress (for Zahra Budhwani, grade 11, in the role of Mae Peterson) in the 2016 Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 23 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. If she wins, Budhwani will perform in front of industry professionals at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City, and audition for scholarships to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Congratulations!
Weekend audiences took a fun-filled trip back to the late 1950s during the Harker Conservatory’s performances of “Bye Bye Birdie,” which ran April 15-17. Directed by Laura Lang-Ree, this rollicking period piece takes place primarily in the fictional town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, where love-struck teenager Kim MacAfee (Mia Giammona, grade 11) wins a contest to receive a kiss from rock ’n’ roll heartthrob Conrad Birdie (Emre Ezer, grade 11), who has just been drafted into the army. Conrad’s appearance in the town sets off a series of events involving jealous lovers, disapproving parents and plenty of fun-filled musical numbers!
Backed by the “Bye Bye Birdie” Band (led by musical director Catherine Snider), the cast did a wonderful job realizing Charles Strouse’s score, which was splendidly interpreted by Katie O’Bryon’s choreography. Scenic designer Paul Vallerga, costume designer Caela Fujii and Harker’s go-to lighting designer Natti Pierce-Thomson brought their great instincts for visuals to the production.