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Friday, 21 February 2014 11:14

Be Sure To Watch This Birdie!

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Now, I may not have been the first to say this, but it bears repeating: “Nothing’s the matter with (these) kids today!” 


On a snowy afternoon I had the privilege of meeting some young adults from Saratoga Central Catholic’s Drama Troupe as they were working out the singing, blocking and dancing required to put on a trio of special performances next week of the beloved musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” which has been a smash since it’s Broadway debut in 1960.  


Joining in the roundtable were Anlyn Billington, who plays Mae Peterson – the overbearing mom to Michael Niles’ Albert Peterson; Morgan Ose, who as “Rosie” Alvarez is Albert’s long-suffering secretary/girlfriend; Harry Reid, the Mayor of Sweet Apple, Ohio, an idyll town in 1958; Gabrielle Vuillaume, who as Kim McAfee will be the recipient of “One Last Kiss” bestowed upon her by the soon-to-be-army-inducted Elvis-derivative Conrad Birdie, played by Quillan Brady.


Most of this group had acquired experience in several earlier theater presentations and the Troupe’s director, Ms. Pat Douglass, has schooled several of the cast members in previous productions. The cast took great effort to laud “Miss Pat’s” skillset. Harry’s comments are illustrative in that regard:


“Because of her, I’m performing better,” he said. “She takes a different, relaxed approach.”


Quillan and Michael each noted that Ms. Douglass’ approach towards the vision of how the plays go led to them studying the blocking (stage positions) of the cast as a whole, rather than just their own individual roles. This becomes important not just to assume an understudy role in and emergency, but in a musical where 23 people fill 45 roles it helps to see and absorb the big picture. 


Anlyn observed that the pride her director takes in making each of them the best they can be comes through to the entire cast, pointing out that “Miss Pat” added the role of choreographer for “Bye Bye” when a mishap put the original on the shelf.  


Gabrielle, who is a notable singer and has already had several auditions for national commercials, also observed how “she picked the right show for this cast.” 

This is echoed by Morgan, who will be in her sixth production with Ms. Douglass and ninth theater role overall. When Morgan says, “the show doesn’t take itself seriously” she makes sure to note that while the cast is having a blast, they are quite serious about making this the best production possible. 


I believe. Which is why this one’s on my calendar, and should be on yours as well. 


Bye Bye Birdie

SCC Drama Troupe

St. Peters Parish Center      

64 Hamilton St., Saratoga Springs

Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m.


Tickets: $10 adults / $5 children and seniors

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