Blaine High School students rehearse April 22 for the musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” playing May 2-4. (Photo by Paige Kieffer)

Travel back in time to 1960s small-town America with Blaine High School’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” playing May 2-4.

The musical comedy follows the Army-bound rock star and teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie (Nathan Smith) as he makes his farewell appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in Sweet Apple, Ohio, with the help of Conrad’s manager Albert Peterson (Nathan Olson) and his girlfriend and secretary Rosie Alvarez (Joanna Quick).

When Conrad Birdie chooses all-American girl Kim McAfee (Anne Beyer), to give him one last kiss before boot camp, it becomes the talk of the town.

“It’s such a comical show,” said senior Nathan Olson (Albert Peterson). “It interprets the life of fame and celebrities in a fun and unique way.”

“I love the cultural clash between the adults and the teens, and it’s a theme that will resonate to everyone in the audience,” said director Andrew Rakerd.

The 1960 Broadway Tony Award-winning musical was written by Michael Stewart. The story, and specifically the character of “Conrad Birdie,” was inspired by singer Elvis Presley being drafted into the Army in 1958.

Rakerd and artistic director McKenna Wetzel recently took over the theater department, and this is their first musical.

Rakerd said he chose “Bye Bye Birdie” because he wanted his students to experience the classic production.

“This is a large cast, which is awesome, and we love involving so many kids and making them feel valued and a part of this,” he said.

“Bye Bye Birdie” includes hit songs like “Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “One Boy,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “Kids!” and “Rosie,” with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.

“Audience will love the dancing in this show and the songs,” said Joanna Quick (Rosie Alvarez).

Olson added, “It’s so retro!”

To get tickets for “Bye Bye Birdie,” visit

If you go

What: Blaine High School presents “Bye Bye Birdie”

When: 7 p.m. May 2-4 and 2 p.m. May 4. The 7 p.m., Thursday, May 2 performance will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

Where: Blaine High School auditorium, 12555 University Ave. NE, Blaine

Rating: Suitable for all ages

Tickets: $6 for students and seniors and $9 for adults. Purchase tickets at or at the door of each performance with cash or check only.


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