You don't want to miss this show.
Comments from one person in attendance last weekend, " This production has heart, discipline, and talent. All the pieces fit. The actors are alive and engaged, the scene changes flow smoothly and efficiently, and the music (live band!) supports and empowers the action.
"The acting is spot on for full development of the action. The juxtaposition of Albert and Rose, vs Kim and Hugo, vs Parent and Child in the book gives the actors a framework to play and have fun with. The enthusiasm of the cast members is obvious. The choreography is tight, this cast spent time rehearsing the dances and its obvious. These people care about what they're doing.
"The set is simple, colorful and accessible. The scene changes are smooth quick, and integrated nicely with the lights. This tech crew worked like a finely tuned machine."
Book by Michael Stewart; music by Charles Strouse; lyrics by Lee Adams; originally produced by Edward Padula. Directed by Tisha Swart-Entwistle
Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type, has a pompadour and thick sideburns; he wears gaudy gold costumes and speaks in a rugged voice. Albert Peterson, his agent, is a very pleasant mild mannered young man. Albert's faithful secretary Rose Alvarez keeps him and Birdie moving forward in the world. Rosie concocts one final national publicity plan before Conrad's induction.
Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an all-American kiss. Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio wins the honor. All of the phones in her town are already busy during The Telephone Hour as Kim has just been pinned to Hugo, a local boy. She is a pretty girl of fifteen and sings with spring like ardor How Lovely to Be a Woman, as she pulls on the plaid woolen socks and the baggy mustard colored sweater considered stylish and popular among young ladies.
The arrival of Birdie in Sweet Apple causes people of all ages to swoon. Birdie says that his success is due to the fact that he is Honestly Sincere when he sings, and the quiet little town goes into a spin. The MacAfee household is completely upset by the visiting celebrity. It is decided that Birdie will give his One Last Kiss on the Ed Sullivan show. Kim's father who laments the whole uproar, tries to break into the act and behaves like a ham on the TV show. Hymn for a Sunday Evening is a salute to the greater glory of Ed Sullivan.
Birdie becomes disgusted with his life and goes out on the town with the teenagers. He feels tense with Albert and is tired of being supervised. The parents of Sweet Apple cannot understand the new generation and express this in Kids. Rosie, still waiting for that band of gold from Albert after eight years, invades a Shriners' meeting. An extremely hilarious ballet ensues. She then decides to become the Latin American spitfire that she is painted as, by Albert's lead-footed catastrophe-ridden mother. She is determined to become Spanish Rose. Kim is reunited with Hugo, and Rose with Albert in the lovely number Rosie. Other hit numbers include A Lot of Livin' to Do and Put on a Happy Face.
Performances are September 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., and a September 16 matinee beginning at 2 p.m.
Featuring Joshua Shockey, Suzie Stephensen, Brynna Darley, Ted Elroth, Deborah Beauchamp, Tracy McClung, Jeff Swanson, Ryan Pangracs, Liam Johnson, Gabrielle Smith, Dennis Truman, Isabelle Krasnesky, Kaitlyn Baker, David Beauchamp, Paul Hudalla, Tina Allen, Ashley Rielle, Kevin Albee, Ken Janasz, Lane Dickinson, Mackenzie Cross, Nicholas Rothmeyer, Alex Konczey, Elijah Beauchamp, Ben Schatzel, Ashley Zink, Zoe Hines, Rachel Rothmeyer, Toni Hudalla, Chase Nielson.
Adults $10; 12 & under $5; 62+ & groups 10+ $8; and with a military identification card $9.
Leavenworth Performing Arts Center, 500 Delaware St, (913) 651-0027, www.rccplv.com (PG-13)
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