This morning, I was able to catch most of Regis and Kelly (the ONLY celebrity focused morning show I enjoy watching). As I made mention of earlier, John Stamos is now in previews for Bye, Bye Birdie for its return to the Broadway stage since the debut 50 years ago (WOW!). Mr. Stamos will be playing the lead part of Albert Peterson. Dick Van Dyke originated the role of Conrad Birdie’s manager in the original production as well as the original movie. The cinematic experience does not do the stage version justice at all. Not sure why but like many musicals it is much better to have that live, theatrical experience. I honestly cannot think of many musicals that have translated better or at least as enjoyably on the screen. I guess I would say The Sound of Music only because it has been so ingrained into pop culture as a movie that many forget or don’t realize that is was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s theatrical swan song. That reason and the puppet show version of “The Lonely Goatherd” is my favorite part of the movie and IS NOT in the stage version.
Ok… back to my original topic. During the interview, Reege made mention of the fact that Ann-Margrock (err.. Margret) played the young girl, Kim MacAfee in the movie. Shortly after the movie was filmed, Ms. Margret would be Presley’s leading lady in my mother’s favorite Elvis movie, Viva Las Vegas. However, Mom was not aware that she was in the cast of Birdie.
Here’s a few more tidbits: one of our fellow tangenteers has played the role of pop singing idol/draftee Conrad Birdie. I assisted in the directing of my high school alma mater’s production a few years ago. AND there was a veery short lived sequel (4 performances) entitled Bring Back Birdie which was set twenty years following the events of the original. Twenty years is quite a LONG time to wait to attempt a comeback.