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Photo Flash: NSMT's "Bye, Bye, Birdie'

Return to a simpler time with BYE BYE BIRDIE, the ultimate feel good musical, when it lands on the North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) main stage.  Winner of four 1961 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, BYE BYE BIRDIE runs July 15 to August 3, 2008 and Press Night is scheduled for July 17 at 7:30 pm.

BYE BYE BIRDIE revolves around rock 'n' roll superstar Conrad Birdie (loosely based on Elvis Presley), who, to the dismay of his adoring fans, is about to be drafted into the army. Featuring a book by Michael Stewart, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Lee Adams, comic complications ensue when, as part of one last publicity stunt cooked up by his agent, he promises to give a good-bye kiss to one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The upbeat score features "How Lovely To Be a Woman," "The Telephone Hour," "Put On A Happy Face," "A Lot of Livin' To Do," and "One Last Kiss."

BYE BYE BIRDIE stars Bianca Marroquin as Rose and James Patterson as Albert, Birdie's manager.  Marroquin will be stepping into the shoes of Albert's longtime secretary and love interest fresh off a run as merry murderess Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago.  Her other theatrical credits include Rent, The Phantom of the Opera, and the national tour of Chicago. Marroquin also originated the role of Carmen in the revival of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway hit, The Pajama Game. Patterson has been seen on Broadway and in touring company productions of Beauty and the Beast and State Fair, in the national tours of Cats (Munkustrap), and in regional productions of White Christmas (San Francisco, St. Paul) and Mame (Kennedy Center). Patterson has Massachusetts ties as he is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and Tufts University.  Eric Ulloa is featured as rock 'n' roll crooner Conrad Birdie and has been seen starring as Patrick opposite Sandy Duncan in Mame (Barrington Stage), as Jacob in Shenandoah (Human Race Theatre), Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof (Fulton Opera), and Anselmo in Man of La Mancha (North Carolina Theatre).

The cast of BYE BYE BIRDIE also features Ari Butler (Hugo Peabody), Madeleine Doherty (Doris Macafee), Mary-Pat Green (Mae Peterson), Alessa Neeck (Kim Macafee), and Malden native Robert Saoud (Harry Macafee) and Winchester native Adam Piispanen (Randolph Macafee). The ensemble includes Edward M. Barker, Jeremy Benton, Joe Bowerman, Shavanna Calder, Elizabeth Clinard Gina Duci, AJ Hughes, Laura Irion, Swampscott native Andy Jones, Charlie Logan, Paul Miller, Peter Mills, Mara Newbery, Ellen Peterson, Scott P. Sambuco, Dawn C. Tucker, and Kirstin Tucker.

The 39 member cast will also showcase 13 local youth performers from area communities:  Bethani Boccia (Beverly), Victoria Brandano (Rowley), Eva Rae Costanza (Burlington), Erica Courtney (Danvers), Alex DeLeo (North Reading), Corey Desjardins (Andover), Brian Dillon (Dracut), Rachel Fairbanks (Chelmsford), Samantha Manson (Salisbury), Wendy Mellin (Andover), Nicole Soriano (Middleton), Jessica Starbard (Lynn), and Tricia Whitlock (Concord). Costanza, DeLeo, Desjardins, Dillon, Soriano and ensemble member Jones are former students of NSMT's Academy of Music Theater, an award-winning theater arts and education program for youth.

Michael Lichtefeld will be making his NSMT debut as both Director and Choreographer for the production.  A theater veteran, Lichtefeld has choreographed numerous Broadway productions, including Little Women, The Secret Garden, The Sound Of Music, and Sweeney Todd and has also been nominated as best choreographer for The Drama Desk Award, The L.A. Ovation Award, and three Outer Critic's Circle Awards.  The creative team will also include Ann Shuttlesworth (Musical Director), Howard C. Jones (Scenic Designer), Kimberly Wick (Costume Designer), Kirk Bookman (Lighting Designer), John A. Stone (Sound Designer), Gerard Kelly,  (Wig Designer), Geoff Josselson (Casting), Joe Bowerman (Associate Choreographer), Laurie Silipigno (Production Stage Manager), and Alicia Reese (Assistant Stage Manager).

Tickets for BYE BYE BIRDIE are priced from $77 to $40. Senior & Youth Discounts and Rush Tickets are available. As a non-profit organization dedicated to making theater accessible to all families especially during this difficult economy, special "Rock n' Roll Back" ticket prices of $35 to $25 will be offered on Tuesday or Wednesday evening performances (this special offer is limited to availability and not valid with other offers). Also check out for special ticket packages including "Family Package" (free popcorn and soda for each family member with the minimum purchase of four tickets), "Date Night" and "Girl's Night Out" (ticket packages may not be combined with any other discounts). Performances are July 15 - August 3, Tue - Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm.  For tickets:, (978) 232-7200, or in person at 62 Dunham Road, Beverly.

"Put on a Happy Face"

Mara Newbery and James Patterson

Eric Ulloa and the cast of BYE BYE BIRDIE

Eric Ulloa, Ari Butler, Jeremy Benton, and Joe Bowerman

Alessa Neeck and Eric Ulloa

Robert Saoud, Madeleine Doherty, and Alessa Neeck

Mary-Pat Green and James Patterson

Biancca Marroquin

Bianca Marroquin (senter) with (l-r) Joe Bowerman, Edward M. Barker, Jeremy Benton, Scott P. Sambucco

The cast of BYE BYE BIRDIE

Photos by Paul Lyden.

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