Battle Mountain High School Players present ‘Bye, Bye Birdie,’ April 6-8
If you go …
What: “Bye, Bye Birdie,” presented by the Battle Mountain High School Players, with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6, Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8.
Where: Battle Mountain High School auditorium, 151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards.
Cost: Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for adults.
More information: Visit goo.gl/sozafn to purchase advance tickets.
Cast (in order of appearance)
• Albert Peterson — Garvin van Dernoot
• Rose Alvarez — Karen Munoz
• Helen — Alexi Petersen
• Ursela Merkel — Nima Sherpa
• Kim MacAfee — Naomi Kuntz
• Doris MacAfee — Lindsay Foley
• Harry MacAfee — Blake Petersen
• Randolph MacAfee — Josh Kurtz
• Mae Peterson — Berit Kirchner
• Conrad Birdie — Kingston Linder
• Hugo Peabody — Grant Mauer
• One Girl/Penelope — Bella Rubis
• Mayor — Eliot Hutchinson
• Edna/Mayor’s Wife — Lauren Reid
• Mrs Merkel — Skyler Runke
• Nancy — Madi Reichart
• Gloria Rasputin — Elena Ortiz
• Mr. Johnson — Shepherd Stone
• Maude — Sam Litt
• Maude’s Dishwasher — Aiden Woodworth
• Maude’s Customer No. 1 — Elliot Hutchinson
• Maude’s Customer No. 2 — Alex Arroyo
• Maude’s Customer No. 3 — Shepherd Stone
• Alice — Kate Sparhawk
• Margie — Lucah Katauskas
• Harvey Johnson — Casey Cope
• Deberah Sue — Maddie McDougall
• Joe Kurtz
• Shepherd Stone
• Alex Arroyo
• Sam Litt
• Keefer Quagliano
• Karen Garcia
• Hannah Litt
• Katy Wolf
• Hope Romero
• Steph Lasater
• Hannah Hervert
• Mollie McCoy
• Desy Mendoza
• Beka Gershenoff
• Alyssa Anderson
• Joslyn Sanchez
• Tiia Kiuru
• Rebecca Wilson
• Samantha Lindall
• Chloe Colley-Hiller
• Wyatt Gipson
• Director — Kaylee Brennand
• Director — Alexandra Trosper
• Stage manager — Hailea Stone
• Stage manager — Katelyn Bellerose
• Stage/set design — David Mayer
• Choreography — Rachel Vangorden
• Apprentice choreographer — Camryn Woodworth
• Apprentice choreographer — Sam Litt
❝Conrad Birdie is going into the Army,” Albert frantically announces to his assistant, Rosie.
The wheels have come off the Almaelou Music Corporation’s gravy train in the form of one Conrad Birdie, an Elvis-esque crooner and teenage heartthrob, being tapped by Uncle Sam to serve his country. In response, Rosie devises a plot to send Birdie out in elaborate fashion, with a new hit song and a kiss for one lucky fan in Sweet Apple, Ohio.
The stunt should bring in enough money, by Rosie’s estimation, to allow the somewhat mercurial Albert a chance to quit the family music business, get out from under his mother’s thumb and make good on his promise to become an English teacher, sweep Rosie off her feet and live happily ever after.
Thus begins “Bye, Bye Birdie,” the spring musical presented this weekend by the Battle Mountain High School Players. The show has a three-day run, today through Saturday, with shows at 7 p.m. each day.
A different era
For this particular production, the cast not only had to learn their lines and develop their characters, but also put themselves in the mind frame of the late 1950s, an era where rock ’n’ roll was in its infancy and relatively few women had careers outside the home.
“The music is very comedic, and it definitely has that old malt-shop kind of feeling, but it’s coming out of the malt shop era, and we’re getting more into the rock and pop era,” said Alexandra Trosper, the show’s music director.
It’s a little like hopping into a time machine, said Battle Mountain senior Garvin van Dernoot, who plays the role of Albert.
“People back then wouldn’t cross their legs a certain way because it was seen as scandalous,” he said. “People talked differently, their nuances and tones — you can see it in the script, the dialog is different. … It might be the same choreography, but since we’re in this era, you’ll do it different than you would nowadays or even 10 years after the show was made.”
Many of the lines that could be found offensive by a modern audience are purposely exaggerated to evoke emotion, said senior Karen Munoz, who plays Rosie in the show.
“Living in the world that we do today, it’s really hard to take a look back at how much women would be so submissive to their guys, to their partners,” she said. “I think there’s a couple of lines that Albert has that are really offensive, and it’s hard to not take offense to it, but it’s a show and that was the time period and that was acceptable back then.”
Cast of characters
Albert is an interesting character, van Dernoot said. The audience wants to dislike him for his off-color antics, but then he comes through with a shining moment of genuine kindness. You’re left not knowing whether to love or hate him.
“He’s kind of this oblivious moron who is very much in love with Rosie but, at the same time, doesn’t really know what to do with that,” van Dernoot said. “She’s his assistant and they have worked together for eight years, and he hasn’t made a move but he’s very much in love with her. He has these moments of really pure passion for her, where he really cares about her and that really comes across.”
Albert also has moments where he seems he couldn’t care less, Munoz said, asking Rosie to schlep around luggage or seeming to ignore her existence completely. Rosie, on the other hand, is very clear about her intentions.
“Rosie is a very strong character,” Munoz said. “She knows who she is and she’s very confident, and when Albert always conforms to what his mother wants, instead of what he wants, it makes it really hard for her to stay in that situation. She just wants to feel love by Albert, and he does love her, but he has other priorities before he realizes that he really does want to be with her.”
Much of Rosie’s character is revealed through her solos, Trosper said.
“Whenever she sings, we see so much depth to her, compared to most of the characters,” she said. “All of Rosie’s songs — ‘An English Teacher,’ ‘What Did I Ever See in Him?’ and ‘Spanish Rose’ — we see that Rosie is much more than a two-dimensional character. She’s a very strong woman, which I think is fascinating for this time period.”
Throughout the show, the chorus chimes in with epic tunes that fill the stage with voices and colorful costumes that help carry the story to its conclusion.
“In this musical, everything is uplifting and funny,” Trosper said. “Just like our clothing is very bright, I’d say the music is very bright, as well.”