ShareThis Page

Elizabeth Forward Middle School tackles 'Birdie'

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:11 a.m.
Elizabeth Forward Middle School students, from left, Natalie Montarti as Kim MacAfee, MaKenzie Wright as Rosie Alvarez, Kevin Trasp as Albert Peterson and Hunter Moore as Conrad Birdie star in 'Bye Bye Birdie' Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Elizabeth Forward Middle School students, from left, Natalie Montarti as Kim MacAfee, MaKenzie Wright as Rosie Alvarez, Kevin Trasp as Albert Peterson and Hunter Moore as Conrad Birdie star in 'Bye Bye Birdie' Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.
The cast rehearses a number from Elizabeth Forward Middle School's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie,' which runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. at the middle school.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | DailyNews
The cast rehearses a number from Elizabeth Forward Middle School's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie,' which runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. at the middle school.
Nathan Thalman as Harry MacAfee pulls Felicia Yocolano playing Mama back from the brink in Elizabeth Forward Middle School's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie.'
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Nathan Thalman as Harry MacAfee pulls Felicia Yocolano playing Mama back from the brink in Elizabeth Forward Middle School's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie.'

“Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!” It's a lyric from the musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” but if you put the question to Elizabeth Forward Middle School teacher Mark Mauer, who is overseeing the school's production of the show this week, he'll tell you his actors have the situation pretty well under control.

“The kids are running the entire show. The entire thing is kid driven,” Mauer said.

That means besides actors having their roles down pat, students will be in control of lighting, sound and other technical elements of production when the curtain rises at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the middle school auditorium.

The school's production corresponds with the 50th anniversary of the movie for the musical. The show offers a humorous look at teenage culture of the late 1950s and early 1960s and was inspired by Elvis Presley joining the Army in 1958.

In the show, the Elvis-like character Conrad Birdie, played by Hunter Moore, is entering the military and his managers stage a publicity stunt to have their star deliver one last kiss before he goes to a randomly picked member of his fan club.

The lucky girl is Kim MacAfee, played by Natalie Montarti, who comes from the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio.

The arrival of big city Birdie quickly creates problems for her and other inhabitants of the town.

Birdie's manager Albert, played by Kevin Trasp, and his secretary Rosie, portrayed by MaKenzie Wright, also have their hands full.

Kevin said his character is basically a mama's boy who starts to take control of his own life by the end of the show. He also gets in a few choice musical numbers.

“‘Put on a Happy Face,' that's probably my favorite song,” Kevin said.

MaKenzie said her character plays off Kevin's.

“My character is always angry and annoyed,” said MaKenzie, who noted that she gets to sing “English Teacher,” which is not included in the movie.

Mauer said the musical is a good one for his students. Elements of the story are timeless yet it also contains historical references that work well for comedic effect.

Mauer said his largely female cast can take advantage of the show's many female characters.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.