The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press


Best before-school coffee spot?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Bye Bye Birdie Review!


Patriot Productions performed Bye Bye Birdie on Thursday, March 7th, Friday, March 8th, and Saturday March 9th. The show was nothing short of amazing, and was the result of countless hours of dedication, practice, and collaboration within the Patriot Production community. The play was both highly anticipated and highly successful, and capped off the stellar drama careers of lead-role seniors Dan Loges, Leona Gagalac, Ryan Thaw, Shain Stanley, and Sydney Bryant.

However, the play could not have been run so smoothly without the coordination and support of the ensembles and backstage crew. In fact, the play opened with Conrad Birdie (Danny Lanza) ‘s very own fan-club/ensemble. Led by Ursula Merkle (Natalie Briggs), the Conrad Birdie fan club sang of their overwhelming love and attraction to Birdie, who was akin to the Elvis Presley of his time. 

The play’s next scene featured Albert Peterson (Dan Loges), a music executive who was down on his luck. In his grieving, it was apparent that his longtime lover and secretary Rosie Alvarez (Sydney Bryant) had become frustrated with his career in the music business. In “An English Teacher,” Alvarez reflects on her hope of Albert becoming an English teacher and stepping aside from the music business altogether. Peterson, as he would tell Alvarez, needed one last hit song from Birdie, before the pop icon left to serve in the army. It was in the opening scene between Peterson and Alvarez that the idea for “One Last Kiss” was born; Birdie would randomly select a lucky lady from his fan-club headquarters in the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, to kiss before he was sent away. He would perform “One Last Kiss” on television after kissing this girl, earning Peterson a payday and a much needed chart-topping smash hit. 

This girl, as she would find out over the phone, was Kim McAfee (Shain Stanley). After receiving the news that the biggest pop star in the nation would arrive in her hometown to kiss her, McAfee was swooning. However, her “steady,” or former boyfriend Hugo Peabody (Edward Stuart) was alarmed that her sudden attraction for Birdie would take away from the relationship they had. McAfee then sang to Peabody (in “One Boy”), that their relationship would not be altered by the pop star’s arrival, and that he was merely a fantasy and unattainable to actually reach. Reassured, Peabody happily left the stage, confident that Kim McAffee loved him more than Conrad Birdie. 

 My personal favorite scene from the production was a number called “Put on a Happy Face.” Contrary to his gloomy attitude shown during the beginning of the play, Dan Loges came out swinging as Albert Peterson, full of sunshine and radiating positivity. In a difficult song and dance, Peterson tried to uplift an upset young lady who was sitting at her lonesome on a bench. Loges and the distraught lady (played by Carolyn Chang) swung around and effortlessly flowed around the stage to the catchy jazz beat, held down by the talented pit crew. 

Before long, Conrad Birdie had arrived in Sweet Apple, Ohio. His arrival was much anticipated from the Conrad Birdie Fan Club (as Natalie Briggs’ shrills of joy would imply), but Kim McAfee’s parents (played by Ryan Thaw and Leona Gagalac), were skeptical of Birdie’s character. Before he met the McAfee family, however, Danny Lanza put on a stellar introduction to his character, nailing the song “Honestly Sincere” to the Sweet Ohio citizens, interrupting the town mayor’s (Beckett Raya’s) welcoming speech. Dressed in a dazzling gold suit, Lanza strutted around the stage, accompanied by the talented dancing of the ensembles. 

Birdie’s arrival was met with reporters (Ariana Degliuomini and Laura Keller) and their

The man, the myth, the legend himself: Conrad Birdie

bombardment of questions to ask Albert 

Peterson and Rosie Alvarez. Eager to keep Albert’s reputation at ease, Dan Loges and Sydney Bryant led the song “Healthy Normal American Boy” with the talented singing and dancing accompaniment of the Conrad Birdie fan club and both play ensembles. 

It’s safe to say that not everyone was wooed by Conrad Birdie. Hugo, Kim’s faithful “steady,” was certainly not, and neither were the McAfee parents or her brother Randolph (Adelaide Bertrand). Mr. McAfee was definitely the most peeved, with both Birdie and the rebellious and carefree youth he represented. Thaw, his “wife” Leona Gagalac, and their “ daughter” Betrand voiced this dissent masterfully in the hilarious “Kids.”

It was soon intermission, and tensions were rising. Albert Peterson’s overprotective mother May (played by Veronica Girandola) was heartbroken over her son’s romance with Alvarez (who she deemed unmannered and unworthy of her precious son), and the fact that Peterson was going to sell their family-owned music business. Alvarez, understandably offended by Albert’s hilarious yet insensitive mother, takes her anger out on Peterson, sabotaging his prodigy singer’s big moment in front of the camera. Before it’s Conrad’s time to leave for the military, his big chance to sing “One Last Kiss” was ruined by Hugo Peabody, who socked the pop sensation after receiving the order from Alvarez (he was also understandably upset that Kim had fallen for Conrad’s charm and fame).

Thaw and Gagalac observe the paper.

The delicate relationships between characters were ruined, or so they seemed. During the play’s concluding stages, the character’s found their footing.

Conrad Birdie ultimately went “bye bye,” leaving Kim McAfee and Hugo Peabody back to their relationship. The same was said for Rosie Alvarez and Albert Peterson. Peterson ultimately came to his senses, realizing that his love for Rosie far outweighed his overbearing mother or his aspiring music career with Conrad. The play concluded with their happy marriage, capping off an overall outstanding performance from the Patriot Production club.

Overall, I was blown away by Bye Bye Birdie.

 This outstanding play would not be possible without the talented and hardworking group of students, as well as club advisors Ms. Robbins, Ms. Bellamy, and Mr. Dohan. It told a story cf conflict, love, and pursuing through hardships, and was a funny and entertaining story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Great job everyone!


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Patriot Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.