This is an ORIGINAL 20 page Theater PROGRAM, measuring 9 x 12" featuring ELAINE DUNN, BILL HAYES and JOAN BLONDELL, in the stage production of the EDWARD PADULA Classic that was a huge hit on Screen with ANN-MARGRET,


Director: Gower Champion

Bye Bye Birdie is a stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, and music by Charles Strouse.

Originally titled Let's Go Steady, the satire on American society is set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character's name, "Conrad Birdie," is word play on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty is best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley's rock 'n' roll rivals.

The original Broadway production was a Tony Award-winning success. It spawned a London production and several major revivals, a sequel, a 1963 film and a 1995 television production. The show also became a popular choice for high school and college productions.

The producer Edward Padula had the idea for a musical initially titled Let's Go Steady, a "happy teenage musical with a difference." Padula contracted with two writers, and Charles Strouse and Lee Adams wrote seven songs for their libretto. Padula, Strouse and Adams sought Gower Champion as director/choreographer, who until that time had choreographed only a few musicals. (Fred Astaire and Morton DaCosta had already declined.) However, Champion did not like the book and the writers were fired, with Michael Stewart then hired. Stewart wrote an early version titled Love and Kisses, which focused on a couple thinking of divorce, but whose children persuade them to stay together. Champion wanted "something more". "The 'something more' had been right there in the newspaper. On September 22, 1958, rock-and-roll idol Elvis Presley, having been drafted, boarded a ship for eighteen months in Germany ... There was a media circus including Elvis giving a specially selected member of the Women's Army Corps 'one last kiss'". After brainstorming, Stewart and Adams "came up with the idea of a rock-and-roll singer going off to the army and its effect on a group of teenagers in a small town in Ohio." The name of the singer was Elsworth, then changed to "Conway Twitty before we discovered there was already a Conway Twitty who was threatening to sue us, and then, finally, Conrad Birdie."[3]

Act one

Agent and songwriter Albert Peterson finds himself in trouble when hip-thrusting rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie is drafted into the Army. Albert's secretary and sweetheart, Rose Alvarez, comes up with a last-ditch publicity stunt to have Conrad Birdie record and perform a song before he is sent overseas. She makes Albert promise to give up the music business and to start teaching English at schools ("An English Teacher"). They plan to have Birdie sing Albert's new song "One Last Kiss" and give one lucky girl from his fan club a real "last kiss" on The Ed Sullivan Show before going into the Army.

The lucky girl chosen randomly from Conrad's fan club is fifteen-year-old Kim MacAfee from Sweet Apple, Ohio. All the teenagers in Sweet Apple are catching up on the latest gossip about Kim MacAfee and Hugo Peabody going steady ("The Telephone Hour"). Kim, excited to have a boyfriend, reflects on how happy she is with her maturity ("How Lovely to Be a Woman"). Conrad, Albert and Rosie set off to Sweet Apple to prepare for the event. Before they depart by train from New York City, local teenage girls are ecstatic to meet Conrad, but one young girl is sad because she thinks that by the time Conrad gets out of the army, she'll be too old for him. Albert advises her to be optimistic ("Put on a Happy Face"). Soon, reporters arrive with questions for Conrad, but Rosie, Albert, and the girls answer for him, pushing away tabloids ("Normal, American Boy"). Conrad receives a hero's welcome in Sweet Apple, and Hugo worries that Kim likes Conrad more than she likes him, but Kim assures Hugo that he's the only one she loves ("One Boy"). Conrad shocks the town's parents and drives the teenage girls crazy with his performance of "Honestly Sincere".

Conrad becomes a guest in the MacAfee house and irritates Kim's father, Harry MacAfee, by being a rude and selfish guest. Mr. MacAfee does not want Kim to kiss Conrad until Albert tells him their whole family will be on The Ed Sullivan Show. Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee, Kim, and her younger brother Randolph sing Sullivan's praises ("Hymn For a Sunday Evening- Ed Sullivan"). Hugo sees Kim is attracted to Conrad and becomes very jealous. Albert's overbearing, interfering mother Mae comes to break up her son's relationship with Rosie. She introduces Albert to Gloria Rasputin, a curvy blonde she met on the bus who could replace Rosie as his secretary.

Rosie, jealous and angry, dreams of violent ways to murder Albert ("One Hundred Ways Ballet"). Rosie and Hugo plot to ruin the broadcast. Conrad sings on The Ed Sullivan Show ("One Last Kiss") and as he leans in to kiss Kim, Hugo runs onstage and punches him in the face. On live television, Conrad collapses, Rosie breaks up with Albert, and Albert, trying to cover for the mishaps of the evening, leads a chorus of ("Normal American Boy" (Reprise)).

Act two

Despite plans to refilm the broadcast, Rosie and Kim resolve to leave Albert and Hugo, lamenting on how stupid they were to fall in love with them ("What Did I Ever See in Him"). Conrad decides he wants to go out and have a good time on his last night as a civilian and encourages the teens to party ("A Lot of Livin' to Do"). Conrad, Kim, and all the teenagers except Hugo head for the Ice House to party without adult supervision. Hugo goes to Maude's Roadside Retreat, hoping to get drunk, but proprietor Charles F. Maude can tell that he's under age and refuses to serve him.

When Mr. MacAfee finds out Kim has run away, he and Mrs. MacAfee lament how disobedient kids are today ("Kids"). Rosie ends up at Maude's Roadside Retreat, but Albert calls her on the telephone and begs her to return to him ("Baby Talk to Me"). Rosie, hoping to forget Albert, interrupts a Shriners meeting being held in Maude's private dining room. She flirts with all the Shriners, and they begin a wild dance. Hugo and Albert rescue Rosie from the crazed Shriners, and Albert finally stands up to his mother, telling her to go home. Hugo tells the MacAfees and the other parents that the teenagers have gone to the Ice House, and they all declare that they don't know what's wrong with their kids ("Kids Reprise"). Randolph joins in, stating that his older sister and the other teens are "so ridiculous and so immature".

The adults and the police arrive at the Ice House and arrest Conrad, although he doesn't appear to have done anything illegal or immoral. Kim claims that she was intimidated by Conrad, and gladly returns to Hugo. After a reconciliation with Albert, Rosie tells Albert's mother Mae that she will marry Albert despite Mae's racist objections, and to irritate her, declares she's Spanish ("Spanish Rose") with deliberate comic exaggeration. Albert bails Conrad out of jail and arranges for him to sneak out of town dressed as a middle-aged woman—presumably so he can report for Army induction as scheduled. Albert also gets his mother to leave Sweet Apple bound for home on the same train, getting Conrad and his mother out of his life for good. Albert tells Rosie that they're not going back to New York; they're going to Pumpkin Falls, Iowa. The small town is in need of an English teacher, and they prefer the applicant to be married. Albert professes that everything is rosy with Rosie ("Rosie") and they go off together happily.


Albert Peterson – Conrad Birdie's manager, who formerly aspired to be an English teacher.

Rose "Rosie" Alvarez – Albert's secretary and long-suffering girlfriend.

Conrad Birdie – a 1950s rock and roll star a la Elvis Presley.

Kim MacAfee – a teenage girl who is chosen to receive the 'one last kiss' from Conrad Birdie who lives in Sweet Apple.

Mr. MacAfee – Kim and Randolph's befuddled father.

Mrs. MacAfee "?? Kim and Randolph's mother.

Randolph MacAfee – Kim's well-behaved younger brother.

Hugo Peabody – Kim's boyfriend or "steady" who is quite jealous of Conrad (relationship showed in first preview of Sweet Apple, "Telephone Hour").

Mae Peterson – Albert's overbearing and prejudiced mother.

Ursula Merkle – Kim's hyperactive best friend, a Conrad Birdie enthusiast.

Gloria Rasputin – A curvaceous blonde. Mae brings her to Albert, hoping she will be chosen over Rosie.

The Mayor – the mayor of Sweet Apple.

The Mayor's Wife – his repressed wife.

Ed Sullivan – the host of the Ed Sullivan Show; an unseen character.

Mrs. Merkle - Ursula's mother.

Supporting Sweet Apple Teens

Deborah Sue "Suzie" Miller - One of Kim's best friends. Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Margie Johnson - Harvey's sister (this is not mentioned in most versions). Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Alice - The Mayor's daughter, another one of Kim's best friends. Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Helen - Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Nancy - Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Harvey Johnson - The nerdy son of Mr. Johnson. Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Penelope Ann Henkel - Solo in "Telephone Hour".

Phyllis - a crippled teenager who moves by wheelchair.

Charity Garfein

Lee - Close friend to Phyllis, he helps her with her wheelchair.

Fred - friend, possible boyfriend, of Alice.

Bob - friend

Song list

(Note: Based on Original Broadway Production, 1960)

Act I

Overture- Orchestra

An English Teacher – Rosie

The Telephone Hour – Helen, Nancy, Alice, Margie, Penelope Ann, Harvey Johnson and Teenagers

How Lovely to Be a Woman "?? Kim

Penn Station Transition/We Love You, Conrad! – Orchestra/Teen Trio

Put on a Happy Face – Albert

A Healthy, Normal, American Boy – Albert, Rosie, Teen and Adult Chorus

One Boy – Kim, Deborah Sue, Alice *One Boy (Reprise) – Rosie

Honestly Sincere – Conrad Birdie, Ursula, and Teenagers

Wounded- Ursula, Deborah Sue, and Margie

Hymn for a Sunday Evening – The MacAfee Family & Company

How to Kill a Man (Ballet) – Rosie, Albert, Company

One Last Kiss – Conrad & Company

A Healthy, Normal, American Boy (Reprise, Act One Finale) – The Company

Act II


What Did I Ever See in Him? – Rosie & Kim

What Did I Ever See in Him? (Reprise) - Rosie

A Lot of Livin' to Do – Conrad, Kim and Teenagers

Kids – Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee

Baby, Talk to Me – Albert & Quartet

Shriner's Ballet (dance) – Rosie & Shriners

Kids (Reprise) – Adults, Mr & Mrs Macafee, Randolph

Spanish Rose – Rosie

Rosie – Rosie & Albert

Finale- Orchestra

The 2009 revival placed "Kids" after "What Did I Ever See in Him?", and "A Lot of Livin to Do" followed "Kids". Although the reprise of "Kids" was included, it was not listed in the playbill. A finale was added, featuring the song "Bye Bye Birdie" (written expressly for the 1963 movie version of Bye Bye Birdie) sung by the entire cast


Bye Bye Birdie's instrumentation is very large. The instrumentation calls for piano, bass, guitar, two percussion players, four woodwind players, three trumpets, horn, two trombones, and strings. The bass part here calls for double bass while the guitar part calls for acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and electric bass. The banjo is only used on the overture and the electric bass is only used for "The Telephone Hour" and the How To Kill a Man ballet. The first percussion player plays on mallet instruments while the second plays on drums. The first woodwind player doubles on piccolo, flute, clarinet, and alto sax; the second doubles on clarinet and alto sax; the third doubles on clarinet and tenor sax; the fourth doubles on clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone sax. The second trombone part requires an F-attachment. Tams-Witmark, the company that holds the Bye Bye Birdie license, also has a second keyboard part to substitute the string section. The woodwind section in the original Broadway production is very different from the current licensed version. There were five woodwind players instead of four. The first doubled on piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto sax; the second doubled on piccolo, flute, E-flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto sax; the third doubled on piccolo, flute, clarinet, and tenor and bass sax; the fourth doubled on oboe, English horn, clarinet, and tenor sax; the fifth doubled on piccolo, flute, clarinet, bassoon, and baritone sax.

Original productions

In New York, the Broadway production opened on April 14, 1960, at the Martin Beck Theatre, transferring to the 54th Street Theatre and then the Shubert Theatre, closing on October 7, 1961, after 607 performances. The show was produced by Edward Padula and directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, with orchestrations by Robert Ginzler, scenic design by Robert Randolph, costumes by Miles White and lighting by Peggy Clark.

The original Broadway cast included Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera, Paul Lynde, Dick Gautier, Susan Watson, Kay Medford and Charles Nelson Reilly. Reilly understudied as Albert Peterson for Van Dyke, who periodically took time off (including a two-week hiatus to film the pilot episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show) and returned to the leading role. During pre-production, Chita Rivera took the role of Rosie after both Carol Haney and Eydie Gorme turned it down, and the character's last name was changed from "Grant" to "Alvarez". Replacements during the run included Gene Rayburn as Albert and Gretchen Wyler as Rosie.

In London, the musical opened in the West End at Her Majesty's Theatre in June 1961, with Peter Marshall as Albert, Rivera reprising her role as Rosie, Angela Baddeley as Mae and Marty Wilde as Conrad Birdie. That production ran for 268 performances

This Program features great information on the cast and photos, including images of ELAINE DUNN, JOAN BLONDELL, info on the lyricists, authors, and composers

It does have some corner bends and edgewear. Nice OLD THEATRE Program!!

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MORE INFO ON JOAN BLONDELL: With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a stock company when she was 17. She made her New York debut with the Ziegfeld Follies and appeared in several Broadway productions. She was starring with James Cagney on Broadway in "Penny Arcade" (1929) when Warner Brothers decided to film the play as Sinners' Holiday (1930). Both Cagney and Joan were given the leads, and the film was a success. She would be teamed with Cagney again in The Public Enemy (1931) and Blonde Crazy (1931) among others. In The Office Wife (1930), she stole the scene when she was dressing for work. While Warner Brothers made Cagney a star, Joan never rose to that level. In gangster movies or musicals, her performances were good enough for second leads, but not first lead. In the 1930s, she made a career playing gold-diggers and happy-go-lucky girlfriends. She would be paired with Dick Powell in ten musicals during these years, and they were married for ten years. By 1939, Joan had left Warner Brothers to become an independent actress, but by then, the blonde role was being defined by actresses like Veronica Lake. Her work slowed greatly as she went into straight comedy or dramatic roles. Three of her better roles were in Topper Returns (1941), Cry 'Havoc' (1943), and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). By the 50s, Joan would garner an Academy Award nomination for The Blue Veil (1951), but her biggest career successes would be on the stage, including a musical version of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." In 1957, Joan would again appear on the screen as a drunk in Lizzie (1957) and as mature companion to Jayne Mansfield in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957). While she would appear in a number of television shows during the 50s and 60s, she had the regular role of Winifred on "The Real McCoys" (1957) during the 1963 season. Her role in the drama The Cincinnati Kid (1965) was well received, but most of her remaining films would be comedies such as Waterhole #3 (1967) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971). Still in demand for TV, she was cast as Lottie on "Here Come the Brides" (1968) and as Peggy on "Banyon" (1971).

This item is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for the past 40 years!

BYE BYE BIRDIE Theatre Program MUSICAL Elaine Dunn
Item #BMM0001035