Anita Gillette Stars in Reagle Theatre's BYE BYE BIRDIE, Now thru 7/22
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston has announced the full cast of BYE BYE BIRDIE, the Tony Award-winning 1960s rock 'n' roll-inspired musical parody of what happens to a small Midwestern community when an Elvis-like singing sensation swings through town looking for one last kiss before entering the Army. Bye Bye Birdie runs today, July 13 through July 22 in the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham.
Tony Award nominee Anita Gillette stars as Mae Peterson, the comical mother of all martyred mothers who nearly loves her son Albert to distraction. With more than 75 stage and screen credits to her name, Gillette is probably best known for playing quirky mothers – most notably on television opposite Tina Fey (30 Rock), Marg Helgenberger (CSI) and John Goodman (Normal, Ohio); and in movies opposite Jennifer Aniston (She's the One), Bill Murray (Larger than Life), Mary Louise Parker (Boys on the Side) and Jack Black (Bob Roberts). Audiences may also remember her for her funny and tender performance in the Oscar-winning film Moonstruck in which she played Mona, the hapless mistress to Cosmo (Vincent Gardenia).
In her early career on Broadway, Gillette moved quickly from the ensemble to replacement to featured actress to lead, making her debut in the chorus of Gypsy in 1959 only to take over the roles of Thelma and then June during the show's two-year run. She later starred in Carnival, Guys and Dolls, Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water, Cabaret, and Neil Simon's Chapter Two, for which she earned a Tony nomination as Best Actress in a Play. Most recently Gillette has starred Off-Broadway in The Big Meal at Playwrights Horizons and in Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Westside Theater. She also recently made her one-woman cabaret debut in Anita Gillette: After All at Birdland to rave reviews.
Joining Gillette in Bye Bye Birdie as the swoon-inducing rock 'n' roll idol Conrad Birdie is handsome rising star Ryan Overberg. A professional actor who has moved from New York to Boston to continue his training at the Boston Conservatory, Overberg most recently turned heads as the muscle-bound (and muscle-brained) Sonny in the SpeakEasy Stage production of XANADU. Other credits include musical heartthrob Link Larkin in the national tour of Hairspray, Roger in Rent, The Who's Tommy, The Big Gay Musical, and Le Cabaret Grimm at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).
Additional cast members are Jacob Sherburne as Albert Peterson, Carman Napier as Rosie Alvarez, Gillian Gordon as Kim McAfee, Brad Walters as Mr. Harry McAfee, Linda Lodi as Mrs. Doris McAfee, Josh Sussman as Randolph McAfee, Naree Ketudat as Ursula Merkle, Matt Phillipps as Hugo Peabody, and Shonna McEachern as Gloria Rasputin. Adult ensemble members are Kelly Naugler, Sierra Kagen, Cathy Nardone, Kristina Riegle, Kristen Almechatt, David Carney, Tony Feole, Christopher King, Tom Richardson, Gary Vincent, James Sheehan, Peter Mill, and Zach Green. Teen ensemble members are Courtney Blanch, Emily Grace Smith, Hayley Richelson, Meredith Langton, Kim Rose, Briana Fallon, Emily Tiberio, Laura Girard, Alex Nemiroski, Darren Bunch, Connor Fallon, Nahshon Rosenfeld, Josh Zammuto and Jared Green.
Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway in 1960 and ran for 607 performances. It is the winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical (Michael Stewart, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams), Best Actor (Dick Van Dyke), and Best Direction and Choreography (Gower Champion). The original production also starred Chita Rivera, Tony nominated for her performance as Rose, and Kay Medford as Mae Peterson. Classic musical numbers include "The Telephone Hour," "Honestly Sincere," "Put on a Happy Face," "A Lot of Livin' to Do," "Kids," "Baby, Talk to Me," and "Rosie."
The Reagle Music Theatre production is directed and choreographed by Ovation Award-winning Broadway veteran Larry Sousa. Music director is Dan Rodriguez and conductor is Jeffrey P. Leonard. Assistant choreographer is Rachel Bertone; scenic designer is Richard E. Shreiber; lighting designer is David Wilson; sound designer is Shane Bourgeois; production stage manager is Chelsea Parrish; and technical coordinator is Lori E. Baruch.
Performances of Bye Bye Birdie are July 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 pm and July 15, 21 and 22 at 2:00 pm. A special Free Fun Friday performance sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation will be held today, July 13 at 2 pm. Tickets to this performance are not on sale to the general public. Seats have been made available on a first come first serve basis on the day of the show to families who might otherwise not be able to attend live theater.
Tickets to all other performances of Bye Bye Birdie are $54, $46, $40 and $34. Seniors 60 and older save $3 on any full-priced ticket. Youth tickets for students aged 5-18 are $20 for any seat at any show. Student rush seats at 50% off are available one hour before curtain with a valid college ID.
Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more may be purchased by calling 781-894-2330 or 781-891-5600.All other tickets may be purchased by phone at 781-891-5600, in person at the Box Office during regular business hours, or online anytime at www.reaglemusictheatre.org.
Reagle Music Theatre is located in the Robinson Theatre at 617 Lexington Street, Waltham, Mass. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and performance days, 9 a.m. to curtain. For more information, visit Reagle Music Theatre on the web at www.reaglemusictheatre.org.