bye bye birdie synopsis

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  • PLOT SYNOPSISBook by Michael Stewart Music by Charles Strouse

    Lyrics by Lee Adams

    TIME PERIOD: Early 1960s PLACE: Sweet Apple, Ohio and New York City, New York


    Albert Peterson Rosie Alvarez Kim MacAfeeConrad Birdie Mae Peterson

    Mr. MacAfee Mrs. MacAfee Randolph MacAfee Hugo Peabody Ursula Merkle

    Alice Margie HelenNancy Harvey

    Karl Freddie Mayor MerkleRoger Edna Merkle

  • ACT 1

    SCENE 1: All over Sweet Apple, OhioThe teen-agers of Sweet Apple, Ohio sing with growing excitement over the pinning of Hugo and Kim (they are now officially going steady). This is a very big deal, and they can hardly wait to pass the news through a series of frenzied phone calls.Song: The Telephone Hour LISTENWatch For: Telephone rings and actors in the aisle

    SCENE 2: MacAfee Home, Sweet Apple, OhioKim explains to her friend Ursula, now that she is 15 years old, she is ready to settle down with Hugo. And, she has matured so much that she will no longer be a member of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club.Song: How Lovely to be a Woman LISTENWatch For: A screaming girl

    SCENE 3: Office of Almaelou Music, New York, NYAlbert discovers that his only client, superstar singing sensation Conrad Birdie, is going to be drafted to the Army. Since Conrad has a $50,000 guarantee that Albert cannot pay, he has a big problem. And, he discovers that his secretary Rosie (who is also his girlfriend), is leaving him. She is angry because he has again broken his promise to go back to school and get a teaching degree so they can settle down together.Song: An English Teacher LISTEN

    Albert begs her to stay and makes her a deal. If Rosie stays with him and helps get the money to pay Conrads guarantee, Albert will dissolve the company and go back to school. She agrees and immediately gets to work.

    Rosie instructs Albert to write a hit song called One Last Kiss for Conrad to sing. To sell millions of records and make Conrad and the song even more famous, Rosie arranges for Conrad to randomly give that one-last-kiss to the president of one his fan clubs. She and Albert randomly select: Kim MacAfee of Sweet Apple, Ohio.

    SCENE 4: MacAfee Home, Sweet Apple, OhioKim answers the phone and hears that she has been chosenthat Conrad Birdie is coming to Sweet Apple to kiss her.

    SCENE 5: Pennsylvania Station, New York, NYRosie and Albert have arranged a press event at Penn Station for Conrads departure to Sweet Applecomplete with singing teenagers and an appearance by Conrad.Song: Bye Bye Birdie LISTEN

    Alberts overbearing mother, Mrs. Peterson, arrives at the station to say goodbye to him. Albert tries to tell her that he plans to dissolve their company, Almaelou, when Conrad goes into the Army. He also intends to tell her that he wishes to marry Rosie. Mrs. Peterson does not react well to the news about their company, and so Albert is unable to tell her about Rosie. Mrs. Peterson departs.

    Conrad Birdie appears for his send-off amidst the chaos of fans and press. Albert and Rosie help to present Conrad as an upstanding citizenwhich questions from the reporters make clear he is not.Song: A Healthy Normal American Boy LISTEN

    Rosie, Albert and Conrad get on the train and depart for Sweet Apple.

    SCENE 6: Railroad Station: Sweet Apple, OhioThe train arrives in Sweet Apple where it is greeted by townspeople. Conrad is introduced to Kim MacAfee and all of the girls in town who are members of his fan club.

    Hugo is quite upset that the day after he gave his pin to Kim, she plans to kiss someone else. Kim convinces him that Conrad Birdie is not anything serious and that Hugo is her steady.Song: One Boy LISTEN

    Rosie admires Hugos dedication to Kim, and wonders if Albert truly feels the same way about her. Albert tries to cheer her up.Song: Put on a Happy Face LISTEN

    SCENE 7: Courthouse Steps, Sweet Apple, OhioThe town gathers at the Courthouse so the Mayor can give Conrad the key to the city. Conrad accepts and sings for the townspeople. The crowd (especially the women and girls) swoons.Song: Honestly Sincere LISTENWatch For: Screaming girls and dancing in the aisle

    SCENE 8: MacAfee Home, Sweet Apple, OhioVery early the next morning, Margie, Alice and Ursula are gathered outside of Kims house singing to Conrad. Apparently, they have been there all night.Song: Put on a Happy Face Reprise

    Inside the house, Kim and her mother hurry Mr. MacAfee through his breakfast so they can reset the table for Conrad, who has spent the night in their guest room. Conrad descends from the guest room, drinks a beer, is rude to the family, and then goes back to bed. Mr. MacAfee is appalled and threatens

  • to throw Conrad out. Albert enters and soothes Mr. MacAfee by promising the entire family a cameo on The Ed Sullivan Show.Song: Ed Sullivan"LISTEN

    SCENE 9: Empty Stage of the Central Movie Theater, Sweet Apple, OhioRosie and Albert arrive at the empty theater to begin their setup for The Ed Sullivan Show. Albert tells Rosie that he has written to his mother to say that hes closing Almaelou. Rosie is thrilled.

    At that moment, in walks Mrs. Peterson, who has traveled by bus for three days. Shes furious. And, she blames Rosie for the letter and Almaelous closing. Now, Rosie is furious.

    Hugo enters, and is looking for Kim to tell her NOT to kiss Conrad Birdie on The Ed Sullivan Show that night. Rosie looks at Hugo and clearly has an idea

    SCENE 10: Stage of the Central Movie Theater, Sweet Apple, OhioThe Ed Sullivan Show is in progress at the Central Movie Theater. Conrad sings to Kim.Song: One Last Kiss LISTEN

    Conrad gathers Kim in his arms to kiss her, when out of nowhere, Hugo steps out of the crowd and hits Conrad, who falls to the floor. Kim dashes off angrily. Albert rushes onto the stage, angry and wanting answers. Rosie confesses that she let Hugo in the theater and then leaves Albert to deal with the mess. All of this happens on live television.Song: A Healthy Normal American Boy Reprise Watch For: An actor in the aisle

    ACT 2

    SCENE 1: Kims Bedroom in the MacAfee Home, Sweet Apple, OhioRosie, in Kims bedroom, packs her bag.Song: What Did I Ever See in Him LISTEN

    Kim enters and tries to comfort Rosie. Together, they lament their choice in men. Kim vows to follow Rosie so they can be a miserable pairtogether.

    SCENE 2: Downstairs in the MacAfee Home, Sweet Apple, OhioRosie descends the stairs to leave where she encounters Conrad, Mrs. Peterson and Albert coming in. Albert is very angry with Rosie for ruining the broadcast. Mrs. Peterson is egging him on. Mrs. Peterson and Albert

    have come up with another idea to save the day, and they boast of it to Rosie.Song: What Did I Ever See in Him reprise

    Rosie storms out of the house. Albert regrets her leaving, but still isnt strong enough to defy his mother and go after her. Kim tries to follow Rosie but is stopped by her father.Song: Kids LISTEN

    The phone rings. Its TIME Magazine calling for Rosie. Albert realizes he loves her, wants her back and says so to his mother. Mrs. Peterson then waylays Albert with the news that Conrad has plans to go out carousing one last night before boot camp. Albert panics.Song: A Lot of Livin to Do LISTEN

    SCENE 3: Streets of Sweet Apple, OhioConrad goes outside and asks the first three girls he sees for a suggestion of where to find some fun. The girls inform him that they go to the Ice House when they want privacy. He encourages the girls to follow him to the Ice House.Song: A Lot of Livin to Do LISTEN

    The Mayor and other parents encounter them on the street and the girls scatter. The Mayor and adults depart and the kids return, with Kim in tow. Hugo calls after Kim, but she and Conrad leave together.

    Now, there is a search. Mr. MacAfee and Hugo are looking for Kim. Albert is looking for Conrad and Rosie.

    SCENE 4: Maudes Roadside Retreat (restaurant), Sweet Apple, OhioHugo is at the bar trying to order a beer. He is kicked out, but doesnt actually leave. Rosie enters lugging her suitcases. She orders a drink.Song: Spanish Rose LISTEN

    The phone rings. Its Albert looking for Rosie. Rosie doesnt want to talk to him.Song: Baby, Talk to Me LISTENAlbert asks if shes seen Conrad. This makes Rosie angrier than ever. She orders tequila and Albert hangs up the phone and dashes off saying hes coming for her.

    Rosie notices Hugo at the other end of the bar. Hugo tells her that Conrad has run off with Kim. This panics Rosie, who grabs Hugo and together they leave to go get Kim and Conrad.

    SCENE 5: Outside Maudes, Sweet Apple, OhioAlbert arrives at the bar to find Rosie. Before he goes in,

  • his mother catches up with him to discourage him again. Albert finally tells her to leave, for good.Song: A Mother Doesnt Matter Anymore LISTEN

    Mrs. Peterson leaves.

    Mr. MacAfee finds Albert, and tells him that Kim and Conrad have run away together. Ursulas mother and other parents arrive, and they also cant find their children (Harvey, Roger and Phyllis).

    Rosie finds the group. Albert kisses her, and tells her he sent his mother away. Rosie tells him that Conrad and Kim are at the Ice House, and all the parents set off to find them.Song: Kids Reprise

    SCENE 6: The Ice House, Sweet Apple, OhioConrad lights Kims cigarette, she inhales, and then coughs. Conrad makes his move. Ursula and the rest of the towns teenagers arrive for a party. Conrad begins to regret coming to the Ice House. Song: Ice House Livin

    Rose, Albert, Hugo, Mr. MacAfee and the rest of the towns adults arrive as the kids are spinning and dancing wildly.

    Conrad is arrested. Kim runs into Hugos arms. Albert professes his love for Rosie.Song: An English Teacher Reprise

    Albert runs off to bail Conrad out of jail. Mrs. Peterson arri


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