Bye Bye Birdie 1960 Original Broadway Cast
Reissued, Remastered, Cast Recording
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A lighthearted romp reflecting the Elvis revolution, Bye Bye Birdie follows Albert Peterson (a pre-Mary Poppins Dick Van Dyke), the manager of rock & roller Conrad Birdie (Dick Gautier), who is sweeping through the town of Sweet Apple on a publicity stunt surrounding his being drafted into the Army. Meanwhile, Albert's faithful but exasperated secretary (Chita Rivera) hopes he will give up show business to settle down with her and become a respectable English teacher. In Charles Strouse and Lee Adams's energetic and tuneful score, Van Dyke sings the standard "Put On a Happy Face," the high schoolers are high schoolers ("A Lot of Livin' to Do," "The Telephone Hour," "One Boy") and bewilder their parents ("Kids"), Gautier thrusts his hips ("Honestly Sincere," "One Last Kiss"), and homage is paid to that icon of home entertainment, Ed Sullivan ("Hymn for a Sunday Evening"). Bye Bye Birdie won the 1961 Tony for Best Musical, and Van Dyke reprised his role in the 1963 film version. The 2000 remastering features outstanding clarity as well as a bonus track of Strouse himself introducing and singing "Put On a Happy Face" at a Smithsonian lecture in 1978. --David Horiuchi
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Not for the bonus tracks, but the sound--I'm hearing details of performance and orchestration that I've missed before. The remastering adds clarity that will signifcantly enhance your enjoyment. The liner notes are an improvement also, giving a lot of behind the scenes perspective to how this show was developed and improved on it's way to becoming a Broadway hit.