| Bye Bye Birdie |
This is a nostalgic trip to the 50s with Elvis and lots of screaming teenaged girls. "Birdie" is a substitute name for Elvis. Like Elvis, Birdie has been drafted to serve in the army. Birdie is immensely popular and his agent has invested heavily in promoting him, so he does not want to go. On the other hand, he does not want to appear reluctant to serve his country.
The biggest conflict of the play is that Birdie's agent refuses to marry his secretary, because he is a mama's boy. I don't want to spoil the play (or bore the reader) by telling the full plot. Click here for a full description of the plot.
In this play, each of the male characters is deeply flawed and most are two-dimensional. Only two characters, the girl Birdie will kiss and the agent's secretary, emerge as strong, intelligent, and having something to say. Both are surrounded by self-centered immature insensitive etc men. Representing different generations, each female must struggle to overcome these "standard male flaws" by becoming more independent and domineering.
At one point in the play, they team up to explain that men are pathetic and worthless "from puberty onwards". (Some versions of the play may vary though.) After this speech, there was a quiet pause, which I used for booing. I don't believe that an audience should just be a rubber stamp of approval. Booing was invented for a purpose.
At the end of the play, a few women gave a standing ovation, but every man remained seated.
While the play had some fairly entertaining sections, I would recommend it only as a good venue for booing. You have to decide if that thrill is worth the price of a ticket.
- Reviewed by: Paul G.