Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center hosted their premiere night of Bye Bye Birdie on November 5 at 8 pm. The production featured a live band underneath the stage and a black and white montage of old photographs of the play as an introduction.
For those who may not be familiar with the musical, it revolves around a fictitious Elvis-inspired 1950s pop singer named Conrad Birdie, in this case played by Taylor Campbell, who travels to a small town in Ohio to give his last performance and kiss one of his fans before being drafted into the Army. The lucky teenager, Kim MacAfee, portrayed by Jennifer Anna Fink, as part of the family who lets Birdie stay in their home during his visit. Her feelings constantly clash between the nerdy boy who’s she’s been ‘going steady’ with and and the pop singer who she’s always dreamed of.
As the play progresses, her opinion of Birdie drastically changes until she discovers his true colors. Various substories include the personal problems of Birdie’s manager and the frustration of MacAfee’s parents realizing their daughter is growing up.
Other notable performances include Sean Williams as Albert Peterson, Masaya Palmer as Rosie Alvarez, Brandee Williams as Mae Peterson, and Cameron Moore as Hugo Peabody. Kim MacAfee’s parents were portrayed by Terry Christopher and Amy Hallas.
Two of the Lariat’s staff members took time out of their busy schedules to be involved in the play. Dylan Lujano filled the role as Albert Peterson’s understudy, Hank, and Jennifer Anna Fink played as none other than Kim MacAfee herself.
The overall quality of the production seemed well-rehearsed and received, with clever set design and smooth transitions.
The singing performances were great, except for Conrad Birdie’s first song, which was somewhat hard to distinguish over the live music.
Thanks to IVC for creating a magnificent production of a well-renowned play, and all of the actors and contributors who made it possible. For those who haven’t seen Bye Bye Birdie, it’s not too late. Performances will still be held at Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center on Nov. 11, 12, 13 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.
Performances of IVC’s next production, An O. Henry Christmas, begin Dec. 3.