Theater Play of the 1960 Broadway Musical Bye Bye Birdie
Who will ever forget Susan Watson? Or Dick Van Dyke? Or Chita Rivera and Dick Gautier? These very renowned Broadway actors and actresses played the key roles in the theater play Bye Bye Birdie (1960) that, for more than fifty years now, has been successfully revived and passed on from generation to generation. Would you ever forget the 1950s rock sensation of America? The vibrant era of the number one American rock star Elvis Presley? Well, of course Elvis Presley wasn’t there in the play, but Conrad Birdie—played by the gorgeous Dick Gautier—looked and sang and acted like Elvis Presley.
The first time I saw a poster of the original theater play, I even thought the actor was, indeed, Elvis Presley. There are so many aspects of them that appeared the same. Well, so much for Elvis Presley… As I was saying, Dick Gautier played the key role of Conrad Birdie who was supposed to be a gorgeous and dazzling rock star of the 1950s. All the teenage girls were struck by his beauty and his sex appeal, yet when they heard that he was about to leave and join the U. S.
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Army, the girls of Sweet Apple, Ohio were so horrified at the news to the extent that Conrad had to give a farewell performance for his very devoted fans, the next time he guests live at the Ed Sullivan television program. One very fortunate fan of him will get a free kiss from the astounding Conrad Birdie. His manager, Albert Peterson who was played by Dick Van Dyke, decided that the lucky girl should be the sexy and luscious Kim McAfee, who is actually Susan Watson of the original Broadway version of the play.
I might have to say that I preferred Ann Margaret to play the role of Kim McAfee in the movie version of the Broadway theater play. Ann Margaret was very attractive and charismatic. Do we still have to ask why she was chosen to give a solo number at the very start of Bye Bye Birdie? Well, 22-year-old Ann Margaret was in her yellow dress, and with all her charm and magnetism, flirts her way through the camera and straight to the eye of the beholder, which is the audience. That’s how the play starts, and I think I have seen her first song for about… uh… twenty times?
Nope, don’t think of anything else… I was merely in the process of getting out the true magic of the song. Then next in line would be the songs ‘The Telephone Hour,’ ‘How Lovely To Be A Woman,’ ‘Put On A Happy Face,’ and ‘A Healthy, Normal, American Boy’ for Act I. Then for Act II would be songs like ‘What Did I Ever See In Him? ’, ‘A Lot of Livin’ To Do’, which is my favorite, also the songs ‘Baby, Talk To Me’, ‘Spanish Rose’ and, finally, Albert’s love song for Rose Grant, the song ‘Rosie’.