‘Bye Bye Birdie’ puts on a happy face

Published 7:01 am Sunday, May 24, 2015

A local sixth-grader is getting a big debut in a well-known musical.

Madison Rysavy of Austin will perform in the Broadway show “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Rochesterfest celebration in June with the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota.

The show follows a rock and roll star, Conrad Birdie, who is drafted into the army and a plot is hatched by his agent to sell his new song, “One Last Kiss.” Birdie lands a farewell performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, where he will kiss a lucky fan (Miss Kim MacAfee) on live television as a symbolic goodbye to his fan club. The good citizens and local teenagers in Sweet Apple, Ohio, take center stage as Birdie arrives in town and the plan begins to unravel.

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“Bye Bye Birdie” is a four-time Tony Award winner, including Best Musical in 1961, featuring tunes like “Put On a Happy Face” and “A Lot of Livin’ To Do,” plus comedic action, dancing and a good musical score. The show is the third musical Madison has done with Honors Choirs (2013 – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; 2014 – The Music Man). She has also sung with Honors Choirs during our regular season for the past three years.

The cast includes over 75 singers, actors, dancers and musicians of all ages. The fully-staged production includes a full-pit orchestra. Director Luke Davidson will lead his first Honors Choirs summer musical and will be joined by Pat Anderson as musical director and Katie Cook as choreographer. This is Honors Choirs’ eighth musical production.

Four performances will take place: June 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., June 27 at 8 p.m. and June 28 at 2:30 p.m. – all at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester (3611 Salem Road SW).

Seat prices range $10 to $25, and there are group discounts for 15 or more — all seats are assigned. Tickets for the shows are available from Honors Choirs: www.HonorsChoirs.org or 507-252-0505.