|Audience 'Puts on a Happy Face' at annual HHS spring musical|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
From the opening strums of an electric guitar to the final bows, HHS drama department’s production of the much-loved “Bye Bye Birdie” had audience members hooked.
Viewers couldn’t help but laugh at the charming, and at times hilarious, performances last Friday and Saturday, March 25-26 in the HHS auditorium.
Directed by Carla Mayfield with music and piano accompaniment by Pat Wiebers, the annual spring musical took viewers back to the ’50s, complete with poodle skirts and the toe-tappin’ sounds of rock‘n’roll.
Even though she’s heartbroken about Conrad Birdie leaving for the
Veteran actors Brian DeBoer and Ella Stewart set the foundation for “Bye Bye Birdie” as Albert J. Peterson and Rose Alvarez.
Audience members were drawn in to the ups and downs of their relationship, not to mention their wild schemes for a final publicity stunt before rock‘n’roll star Conrad Birdie got sent to the Army.
DeBoer’s charming voice carried the part perfectly in songs like “Put on a Happy Face” and “Rosie.”
Stewart’s loud, beautiful voice was evident in this musical, but a different side of Stewart also came out last weekend at the “Spanish Rose’s coming out party” where Stewart’s flirtatious character initiated a dance at a men’s only club that won’t soon be forgotten.
The looks on the faces of Skyler Mayfield, Preston King, Payin Becerra, Jesus Hermosillo and Emanuel Rapp were priceless!
After a fight with Albert, flirtatious Rose Alvarez (Ella Stewart, at right)
The Shriners join in with some wild dancing after a bit of encouragement from the “Spanish Rose.”
Sophomore Ben Martinez proved himself when he took on the role as hip-thrusting Conrad Birdie. His confident personality, slicked back hair, guitar-playing skills and handsome voice in songs like “Honestly Sincere” and “One Last Kiss” were enough to make all the girls swoon.
Cast alongside Martinez was Becca Brandt, the wide-eyed innocent teenager, Kim MacAfee, chosen as the lucky girl who would receive Conrad’s “One Last Kiss.” Brandt’s lovely voice surprised audience members in “How Lovely to be a Woman” and “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.”
It’s no surprise that Kim’s boyfriend Hugo F. Peabody, played by Jaydin Goldenstein, was a little jealous when she wanted to go kiss another guy the day after he gave her his pin.
Kim (Becca Brandt) is shocked that she gets to kiss Conrad.
Hugo Peabody (Jaydin Goldenstein, front right) tries to distract his
Maude (Joel Rodriguez) refuses to serve a drink to underage Hugo
Audience members really got the giggles at the on-stage shenanigans of Kim’s family. Her father Harry MacAfee, played by Austin Killin, was simply hilarious as he dealt with an unwanted rockstar staying at his house followed by the excitement of getting on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”
Briar Bergner proved she could act when she was cast as the perfect counterpart to Killin—Kim’s mom Doris MacAfee. And when Killin got a bit too excited and jumped into her arms, Bergner proved her strength too!
Jacob Vasa rounded out the family as Kim’s little brother Randolph MacAfee.
Harry MacAfee (Austin Killin, center) tries everything to get noticed
Harry MacAfee (Austin Killin, center) attempts to steal the spotlight
Sophomore Molly Brandt certainly made a name for herself as Albert’s mom Mae Peterson, a cranky old woman who only wanted to cause trouble for Albert and Rose.
The audience was rolling in the aisles at the sight of Brandt’s extra lumpy figure, hysterical walk and lines like “The one thing doctors can’t cure is a condition,” and “Don’t hire anyone to take me to my final resting place—I’ll walk!”
An unforgettable scene was when Mae introduced her son to Gloria, a good-looking tap-dancing secretary played by Mallory Bennett who claimed, “I do more than type!”
When Mae Peterson (Molly Brandt, at right) thinks she’s found her son Albert (Brian DeBoer, center)
Mae Peterson (Molly Brandt) gets the audience laughing as
Audience members are sure to still be humming the catchy musical numbers that make “Bye Bye Birdie” such a fun musical. Chorus members and small group vocalists added much to the energy and intensity of the musical.
“We love you Conrad, oh yes we do...” became a familiar tune by the end of the show as crazed teenage fans did everything they could to grab the attention of their favorite rockstar.
Teanna Amaral, Catrina Krueger, Sydney Nelson, Marci Vasa, Mallory Bennett, Brooke Parker, Brittney Prottsman, Ashley Humphreys, Jordan Bernard, Erin Vieselmeyer, Gabby Pascua, Camille Elliott and Shaylee Krueger certainly had perfected the Conrad Birdie Pledge and, of course, the Conrad Birdie Scream.
“The Telephone Hour,” a song about all the gossip in Sweet Apple, Ohio was a song to remember, including a solo by voice-cracking teenager Harvey Johnson, played by Trevor Dalton.
Catrina Krueger gets in on some of the telephone gossip in
Gabby Pascua, Shaylee Krueger and Camille Elliott sing
During the song “Kids,” parents Christa Durbin, Ryan Parker, Trevor
Parents, including Christa Durbin and Ryan Parker joined Killin and Bergner in the song “Kids,” an attempt to figure out “just what’s wrong with kids today!”
“You dare say puberty in front of your own father,” said a raging Killin to his on-stage daughter Kim. “I didn’t even know what puberty was till I was almost past it!”
Joel Rodriguez landed the role as Maude, the owner of Maude’s Roadside Retreat while Preston King played the mayor of Sweet Apple and the voice of Ed Sullivan. Camille Elliott and Shaylee Krueger were both reporters, and Ryan Parker was cast as the policeman and train conductor.
Jacinda Krueger and Patricia Adams were in charge of lights for this production with Skyler Mayfield on sound.
Each actor or actress most certainly embraced their roles in this classic musical, bringing “Bye Bye Birdie” alive on the HHS stage last weekend. A job very well done!
Ashley Humphreys, Jordan Bernard, Marci Vasa and Mallory Bennett
Erin Vieselmeyer sings in “The Telephone Hour.”
Conrad Birdie, who just wants a night on the town, changes his mind when teenage girls at the Ice