THEATER WEEKEND: ‘Bye, Bye, Birdie’

Published 11:12 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When the Demopolis High School Tiger Arts Guild puts on its performance of “Bye, Bye, Birdie” this weekend, there will be a new dimension to its cast. Instead of the usual cast made up entirely of students, nine faculty members will also be playing parts.

The parody of when Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army takes place in 1958, when singer and teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie makes the scene to a cacophony of girls’ screams.

The small town of Sweet Apple is thrust into the public eye on “The Ed Sullivan Show” when Birdie selects one local girl to give his last kiss to before he ships out.

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“Our musical goes around the two different relations that evolve around this event,” said director and drama teacher Jody White, who plays Rose Alvarez, the assistant to Birdie’s publicist.

“It’s a lot of fun. This is our 14th production at the high school, and this is the first time we’ve had faculty and students in a production together. We’ve modeled after what a lot of fine arts programs do at fine arts schools. A lot of colleges do this, and we felt it would be a good experience, mentoring for the students.

“I can tell you that the teachers enjoyed it every bit as much as the students have,” she said. “They’ve gotten to know a lot of students that they didn’t know before this show. It’s been a great experience.”

The show will be performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the DHS auditorium.

Admission is $5, and those who bring a program of “Bye, Bye, Birdie” to the Canebrake Players’ production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” will get $2 taken off of the admission to that play.