By Meagan Renard and Max Kelly
As beautiful as a "Spanish Rose", Lake Brantley’s production of Bye Bye Birdie will definitely make you "Put On A Happy Face". Laden with well-executed comedy, prime singing, and extremely impressive technical elements, this show was truly a treat.
Conrad Birdie, the popular male heartthrob, has been drafted into the United States military. His manager, Albert Peterson, relies desperately on the money he makes working for the rock star, and when the news of this draft is known he is devastated.
Peterson devises one last stunt that can save him from dropping into poverty. He flies Birdie to a humble town called Sweet Apple, Ohio so that he can place one last goodbye kiss to a lucky girl before he leaves for the military.
Jubilee, jealousy, and motherly hate ensues.
As soon as the curtain opened, the vibrantly colorful stage immediately captures the audience’s attention. This performance was entrancing, complete with a live orchestra, a massive chorus, and enrapturing set movement. With successful coordination, the various elements of the show mixed together perfectly.
The most outstanding performance was given by Ava Mothersill, as she portrayed the lovable and fiery secretary Rose Alvarez. Although her singing and dancing was incredible and deserving of much praise, the inflection in her voice and her discreet character movements uncovered Mothersill as a fine-tuned actress.
Another leading actress that deserves honorable mention is the mastermind behind Mrs. Mae Peterson - Brenna Douglas. This protective and overly-dramatic mother from New Jersey had the audience laughing out of their seats. Douglas’ well developed character had the audience missing her when she was offstage.
This production wouldn’t be the same without its supporting cast. No character was buried, each shining in at least one moment. Christopher Santos presented his character Hugo Peabody with remarkable success and this lovable doofus became a fan-favorite in the audience. The chorus for this show played a crucial role, maintaining a constant chuckle throughout the theater. Those actresses who made up Birdie’s teenage fans coordinated with one another expertly, singing and screaming much to the audience’s delight.
The cast delivered their performances beautifully, but the true magic was among the many technical elements that decorated the production. The backdrop for the set was complete with digital monitors that alternated between each scene, transforming the stage to fit every set change. The production crew clearly invested a large amount of time into crafting a variety of colorful, maneuverable, and gorgeous physical set elements. With the help of the ever-present orchestra, set changes were virtually unnoticeable due to the swiftness of the crew.
Orchestrated together perfectly, Lake Brantley’s Bye Bye Birdie was a pleasure to watch. [If you would like to read more reviews, you could start with a domyessy review here https://nocramming.com/
Meagan Renard and Max Kelly are members of the Drama Club at Apopka High School.
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