Ovation! Performing Arts Northwest’s current production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” on stage now at Bainbridge Performing Arts, is the first full show (following last December’s Andrew Lloyd Webber medley “Masquerade”) since the retirement of co-founder, longtime director, and all-around top dog Ron Milton.
His wife, regular company player, fellow co-founder and honorary board member, Marijane Milton will remain more involved in an advisory capacity, but the new era of Ovation! is primarily in the hands — and feet and minds and voices — of a new crop of creatives now.
The show famously spoofs the pandemonium that ensued when Elvis Presley was drafted, though the Elvis-type character, Conrad Birdie (played by Ross Eide in the Ovation! production) is actually not center stage.
The story primarily follows Rose “Rosie” Alvarez, who has suffered through many years of romantic limbo with her boss, New York–based songwriter Albert Peterson (Daniel Opalski), whose biggest client is the newly-drafted Birdie, despite being looked down on by his overbearing mother and with no real commitment from him.
She brings her personal problems to the rural Ohio town of Sweet Apple, where she and Peterson have escorted Birdie as part of a PR stunt: to have him sing “One Last Kiss” (a song she demands Albert write) and give one lucky girl, chosen randomly from his fan club, a real “last kiss” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” before going into the Army.
Performances continue through Sunday, Jan. 12, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., an early matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m., and the closing matinee on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets, $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, $19 for students, youth, military, and teachers, may be purchased online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA (200 Madison Ave. North).