WEST ALLIS — All the color, music and dancing of the 1960s will light up the stage as "Bye Bye Birdie" comes to Nathan Hale High School.
The loving salute to the 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll will be presented Fridays and Saturdays, March 10 and 11, and 17 and 18, at Hale, 11601 W. Lincoln Ave.
The story focuses on teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie (an Elvis Presley type) who has been drafted and who chooses all-American girl Kim McAfee for a very public farewell kiss. It is to be delivered live on the Ed Sullivan show. As can be expected, the plan goes haywire.
Favorite songs from the show include "Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “One Boy,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “Kids!” and “Rosie.”
"I wanted to do an entertaining musical, a little lighter on the message for a change," said director Maripat Wilkinson.
There is a lot for the audience to like, she said. "It's very colorful, very upbeat," she said. To go along with the high-energy score, the choreography will be high-energy, too, she said.
The cast is having fun immersing themselves into teenage life of 50 years ago, she said.
"One of the interesting things is that the play is a take off on Elvis Presley and the controversy about him swinging his hips around. They find it funny that hips were shocking back then," Wilkinson said. They find it quaint, although that isn't a term they would ever use, she said.
The only problem with a light-hearted show is that it's a challenge to keep it truthful, with the cast remembering to show the development of their characters, Wilkinson said. "One of our biggest priorities is to have truth in it."
Show times will be 7 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees March 11 and 18. The cost is $12, general; $10 seniors and students: $8 children 10 and younger. All seating is reserved. Tickets can be ordered at halehuskydrama.com More information is available at 414-604-3200 ext. 5455