Bye Bye Birdie: The Middle School Musical Set to Debut in May


Brianna Sylvain, Middle School Editor

After wowing audiences with its production of The Pushcart War, the middle school is gearing up for its second show of the year: Bye Bye Birdie. Bye Bye Birdie is a musical, set in 1958, that follows Albert, a struggling music executive who is frantically searching for a way to get out of debt and save his record label. Matters only worsen when Conrad Birdie, an Elvis-type musician adored by teenagers all over America and the record label’s only hope, is drafted into the army. Over the course of a journey consisting of jealous boyfriends, hysterical teenage girls, and overbearing mothers, Albert must figure out a way to make Conrad Birdie’s final performance a memorable one and save his sinking business in the process. The musical’s plot is loosely based on when Elvis Presley was drafted into the army,also in 1958. 


Drama Teacher Andrew Cooper-Leary directs the MS production of Bye Bye Birdie. Choreography is going to be done by Dance Teacher Ashley Hacker, music will be coordinated by Music Teacher Madeline Wyatt


Bye Bye Birdie is Cooper-Leary’s first musical at Poly and one of his approaches is “to have a rehearsal process that is fun and gives students a lot of creative license in rehearsals.Cooper-Leary also said that his primary goal with this musical is to “make it original and awesome… it’s a story about kids rebelling against their parents. ‘What’s the matter with kids’ is a recurring theme and line in this show and truthfully, throughout history. So I think middle schoolers will connect with that. Also, it’s a story about the hazards of fame and popularity, and media obsession. It’s TV and rock n’ roll instead of TikTok and Instagram: Things that different generations were convinced would destroy society.”


Hacker believes that the musical’s time period and choreography will add unique aspects to the show. “The choreography will be very stylized which will help set the tone and time period of the 1950s.  Dancing, clothing styles, decor, and language phrases have the profound ability to transport audiences to a different period.” Hacker continued, “Every dance number in this show has a completely different feel.  Additionally, there is no all-cast number so instead of getting excited for one particular number, I’m excited to highlight all of our cast in a multitude of ways.”


The cast of Bye Bye Birdie is also really excited to get working and performing. Cast member, Sasha Londoner ’27, said she’s “excited to be a part of the musical on account of how [she] love[s] theater and the self-expression that comes along with it…As a sixth and seventh grader, I loved being able to collaborate with older students and looked up to them. Now, as an eighth grader, I am excited to be a friend and role model for younger students.”

There are a myriad of people contributing to Bye Bye Birdie, which will be taking the stage on May 11 and May 12 for everyone in the  Poly community to enjoy.