Bye Bye “Bye Bye Birdie”

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“Bye Bye Birdie,” Drama’s second production of the year, was an exciting experience full of laughs and production value. The musical was performed in Baldwin Park’s Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 26th – Saturday, February 28th. While Janice Marquez and Armando Tovar took on the challenge of immersing themselves in the lives of main characters Rose and Albert, the entire cast played an incalculably immense role in bringing a smile to those in the audience.

“I feel like it went really well,” says lead actress Janice Marquez, “We got a lot of dress rehearsals in so I feel like today was one of our best [performances].”

The play revolved primarily around a love story between main characters Rose and Albert, two unlikely lovers caught up in the chaotic world of Conrad Birdie, an iconic rock ‘n’ roll star, as Birdie leaves to join the armed forces, but not before he gives one last performance and one last kiss.IMG_2678_150

Gio Rojas took on the grand role of Conrad Birdie as he sunk straight into the charming arrogance that made Kim MacAfee, played by Angela Silva, faint out of excitement. However, this did not sit well with Hugo Peabody, played by Fabian Diaz, as he could be seen expressing his frustration and unwavering distress throughout the entire musical. The play ended with the parting of Conrad Birdie and a magical heart felt kiss between Albert and Rose which left the crowd drowning in a sea of ahhhhs.

Janice Marquez demonstrated tremendous bravery playing the main character, Rose, as this was the first time she had ever been in any form of theater. While she had been a part of the school choir program, she had never used her natural vocal talents in combination with coordinated dance routines and intricate dialogue.  Her delivery of the character greatly added to the livelihood of the play and truly could not have been better.

“Honestly it’s a way for me to get out of my comfort zone,” admits Marquez, “I’m a really reserved person so this kind of gave me a chance to grow out of my shell.”

Senior Armando Tovar played the role of Albert J. Peterson, Rose’s love interest, with the confidence of a veteran actor. This comes across as no surprise since he has gained invaluable experience in theater from last year’s production, “Ax of Murder.” Despite having experience in traditional theater, this was the first time he had demonstrated his awe-inducing ability to command the stage while singing notes of blissful expression.

IMG_2707_150Kim McAfee, the girl who fainted on stage, was played by Angela Silva. While not never starring in any previous play, Silva was able to carry out the role of her main character beautifully, giving life to the fangirl within. She definitely had a chance to demonstrate her magnificent talents when she was given the opportunity to sing her heart out in multiple scenes.The play would certainly not have been the same without her presence on stage as a main character.

The man in gold, Gio Rojas, a.k.a. Conrad Birdie, seemed to embody his character: a suave star with the moves to make the ladies swoon. Through his performance, Rojas clearly validated his experience on stage after performing in both “Ax of Murder” and last year’s musical “Hello Dolly.” Elvis would have been jealous to see his unwavering display of charisma when playing Conrad Birdie, a character influenced by the rock ‘n’ roll legend himself. It was impossible to hate on this wonder of a character and the audience seemed to agree as they clapped uncontrollably when the story came to an end.

Although some may have found the story to be a bit simple, the reviewers agree that the musical accomplished what it set out to do, which was to entertain the audience. At the end of the day we were pleased to have experienced the exciting, thrilling, and romantically humorous nature of the musical.

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