BWW Review: BYE BYE BIRDIE at DESERT FOOTHILLS THEATER

BWW Review: BYE BYE BIRDIE at DESERT FOOTHILLS THEATER

BWW Review: BYE BYE BIRDIE at DESERT FOOTHILLS THEATER

There is something refreshing about when comedic timing, chemistry, and cohesiveness are the prominent attributes in a cast. This is especially notable while watching leads congeal in a way that's overall enthralling. Attributes as such are the makings of a potentially great production. The cast of Bye Bye Birdie, under the direction of Kat Bailes and musically directed by Kent Campbell, is a good example of how a show like this, when put in the hands of young folks who love the stage, can be more than just fluff.

Bye Bye Birdie follows the arch of Albert Peterson (Eric Bond), a would-be English teacher turned music exec and songwriter for the famed performer, Conrad Birdie (Cedric Knuth), and Alberts Secretary turned lover, Rose Alverez (Sedona Urias-Ramonett). When Albert's music company is dissolved after the news of Birdie's enlistment in the army, and his lover Rose delivers her letter of resignation, being ready to leave him after eight years of time wasted as no more than his girlfriend, He goes for one last ditch effort to get enough money to marry his devoted Rose and be the English teaching husband she has always wanted by writing one last hit song for Birdie. Rose one-ups his plan by choosing a lucky girl from Birdie's fan club, Kim MacAfee (Katherine Baier) to receive "One Last Kiss" from Birdie before deployment. What comes to follow is a chain of events that lead you on a whimsical rollercoaster of a show.

Sedona Urias-Ramonett's portrayal of Rose Alvarez was enticing with the right amount of sensual. Her chemistry with Eric Bond was astounding and genuine, giving us a true glimpse into the lives of Rose and Albert. This blended with Lisa Upper's Comedic timing as Mae Peterson made for an impeccable trio that clutched you to the last line. Lisa made Mrs. Peterson the satirical model for the overprotective mother for the son that no one is good enough for. However, she was no match for the "Spanish Rose" when it came to her devoutness for Albert.

Cedric Knuth's presence as the Elvis adjacent Conrad Birdie wasn't as strong at the beginning of the first act. There were some noticeable sound issues throughout that may explain the difficulty coming across. However, as the show progressed, we really saw Birdie take flight, showing the real Conrad's want to be himself away from the Birdie personality. Cedric brought to Conrad a need to be free from his cage of a contract and a want to reap in the benefits of being a teen heartthrob, an attitude that gets him in trouble later.

The entire cast of Bye Bye Birdie was an overall entertaining experience, with great comedy coming from Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee played by Dale Fridley and Heather Walker. The teen ensemble was sincerely hilarious, bringing the mirage of innocence to some not so innocent situations. Add some great vocal talents and some delightful harmonies and you'll get a songbird of a show that you will not want to let fly by. Desert Foothills Theater's production of Bye Bye Birdie runs from November 9-18. Make sure to go to www.dftheater.org for ticket information.

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From This Author Nathaniel Jones

Nathaniel Jones is a fictional author, poet, lyricist, and performer in the Phoenix valley. Originally from Pasadena, CA, Nathaniel grew in his love for the (read more...)

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