Bye Bye Birdie | Drury Lane Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Michele Aravena and friends

Michele Aravena and friends

Brett Beiner Photo

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 13 2016
Price: $55
In the wrong hands, this 1960 homage to/parody of Elvis Presley and that awful “music” all the kids are listening to can seem very dated indeed. It was, after all, written to entertain old farts (my parents among them) who considered 50s rock 'n' roll a mere fad. Thankfully, director-choreographer Tammy Mader is a clever woman who respects the material enough to find the comedy in the show’s gentle send-up of middle America while also moving us with the glorious, albeit prerock, score. Of course, you need a high-caliber cast to do this, and for this Drury Lane production Mader has brought out lots of big guns, among them Michelle Aravena (dynamite as a sad-sack songwriter’s girlfriend/secretary) and Leryn Turlington (who sizzles as the young teen who wins the right to kiss the Elvis stand-in, Conrad Birdie, before he goes into the army). —Jack Helbig

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