Bye Bye Birdie Cast Announced for January Show

Hannah Vanden Heuvel, Staff Writer, Journalism I

As many watched TGB and let out a sigh of relief that Fall Fest Week was concluding, those that auditioned for this year’s musical, Bye Bye Birdie watched anxiously as the cast list was scheduled for posting following the show.

Auditions for the musical were held on October 15 and 16. Upwards of 70 NDA students gave it a shot.

“Mrs. Salerno and I have created a detailed process,” said Mrs. Andrea Gilson, lead director for the show. Mrs. Chris Salerno is in charge of the stage music, Mrs. Kim Flinchum does choreography and Mr. Steve Johnson directs the pit.

On October 17, over a dozen students received a callback, an opportunity for them to read as specific character’s lines to aid the directors in deciding the best placements for them in the cast.

“Students are graded via rubric on several areas from vocal tone to stage presence. Our scores are then calculated. Students who received a 70 or above on a combined score are looked at for casting and lead roles,” said Gilson.

The cast is made up of more than 40 students and a large pit orchestra.

According to Gilson, the production is “huge” and requires the students to “embrace the 1958 time period” to “effectively portray the mood and various levels of hysteria on stage.”

“This production needs to be ‘over-the-top’ in gestures, facial expressions, and dialogue,” she said.

Bye Bye Birdie differs from previous musicals Gilson has directed due to its being more of a “classic.”

Gilson shared her most significant challenge with this production will be the staging.

“I am having difficulty designing a set that will not only capture the time period but be able to effectively depict the numerous stage changes,” said Gilson.

Moreover, Gilson has been “beyond impressed” with the enthusiasm and energy of the cast.

“This musical is fun and uplifting, and I think the cast is going to make it a memorable production,” she said.

Bye Bye Birdie will be performed in the NDA auditorium January 17 through January 19.

The cast is as follows:

Maya AbuJamra    Rosie Alvarez

Megan Berndt Parent /Adult Chorus

Elizabeth Bolin Teenager/Teen Chorus

Joey Bonadonna Parent/Adult Chorus

Bekah Boucher Alice/Teen Trio/Teen Chorus/Understudy for Kim

Alex Brabant Mayor/Quartet/Adult Chorus

Bella Brabazon Suzie/Mrs. Merkle/Teen Chorus

Emily Burgess Teenager /Teen Chorus

Maddy Burgess Deborah Sue /Teen Chorus/Understudy for Ursula

Shayla Cauldwell Parent/Adult Chorus

Jack Christenson Harvey Johnson /Teen Chorus

Micah Dennis Parent /Policewoman/Adult Chorus

Abby Elfner Parent/Adult Chorus

Briana Fitzgerald Parent /Adult Chorus

Sonja Gapinski Teenager /Teen Chorus

Drew Gunville Charles Maude /Quartet/Reporter/

Adult Chorus/Understudy for Albert

Marybeth Healy Mayor’s Wife /Adult Chorus

Elizabeth Hoeppner Kim MacAfee

Tara Janas Teenager /Teen Chorus/Understudy for Mae Peterson

Molly Kukiela Parent/Adult Chorus

Xinwen Liang Parent /Adult Chorus

Jacob Massart Teenager/Teen Chorus

Ellen Meeuwsen Margie/Gloria Rasputin/Teen Chorus

Abby Meyer Mrs. Doris MacAfee

Maggie Otradovec Nancy/Teen Trio/Teen Chorus/Understudy for Rosie

Lizzy Parish Parent /Adult Chorus

Charles Peterson Albert Peterson

Charlie Rickards Randolph MacAfee

Elizabeth Rickards Teenager/Teen Chorus

Daniela Ron -Garcia Parent /Adult Chorus

Sam Ruffell Teenager/Quartet/Teen Chorus/Understudy for Hugo

Elizabeth Scott Parent /Adult Chorus

Audrey Sladek Parent/Adult Chorus

Monica Sosa-Hernandez Helen/Teen Trio/Teen Chorus/Understudy for Mrs. MacAfee

Noah Sternig Hugo Peabody /Understudy for Conrad

Josie Sullivan Teenager /Teen Chorus/Sad Girl Dancer

Max Timmer Teenager/Teen Chorus/Sad Boy Dancer

Tommy Tressler Conrad Birdie

Hannah Vanden Heuvel Mae Peterson

Jake VanderLeest Mr. Harry MacAfee

Mattea Vecera Ursula Merkle

Ethan Vogel Parent/Policeman/Adult Chorus

Tommy Zakowski Teenager/Teen Chorus/Quartet/Understudy for Mr. MacAfee

Yunmei Zhang Parent/Adult Chorus

Bella Zingler-Hoslet Penelope/Reporter/Teen Chorus