High school stage to rock with `Birdie'

NEIGHBORS

March 16, 2001|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BIRDIE FEVER will electrify the stage at Chesapeake High School this weekend, when its theater group presents the rock 'n' roll musical, "Bye, Bye Birdie."

Curtain time for the group's spring production is 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, and March 23 and 24 in the school auditorium.

The musical - written by Michael Stewart, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams - focuses on an Elvis-type rock star named Conrad Birdie, played by Eric Langenstein, who is about to be drafted into the Army.

Birdie's manager, Albert Peterson, played by Rick Carback, is frantic because he cannot meet a $50,000 guarantee for lost appearances. To add to his troubles, Albert's girlfriend and secretary, Rose Alvarez, played by Jenn Hurt, hands in her resignation, finally realizing that Albert is never going to commit to her and go back to being the simple schoolteacher he used to be.

Reluctantly, Albert caves in and Rose comes up with a publicity stunt to get him out of debt. The stunt involves an appearance on the old "Ed Sullivan Show," where Conrad Birdie will kiss a lucky fan before he reports for induction. Albert will write a hit song about the event, get out of debt and live happily ever after with Rose - so long as his overbearing mother, played by Rachel Booker, approves.

Everything works out fine until Albert, Rose and Conrad move into the winning fan's Ohio home. Kim MacAfee, played by Nikki Sesney, is the lucky girl selected, but her bewildered father Harry, played by Paul Schaughency, and jealous boyfriend Hugo, played by Chris Uhl, and a town full of screaming female teen-age fans make it a week to remember.

The production, featuring a cast of more than 50 CHS students, is directed by Tim Simmons, a county schools piano technician, with adult volunteer Marion Sorensen assisting. CHS teacher Karen Simmons - who is Simmons' wife - is musical director, and veteran volunteer Rose Mulliken is the choreographer.

Student Becky Robley heads the 35-member stage crew, with Sarah Silanskis assisting.

Tickets, available at the door, are $7; $5 for senior citizens and children younger than 10.

The school is at 4798 Mountain Road.

Information: 410-255-5234.

St. Patrick's Eve bazaar

Drag out your green a day early for St. Jane Frances de Chantal Roman Catholic Church's annual St. Patrick's bazaar, inside the church-school hall at 8513 St. Jane Drive.

The bazaar - a benefit for St. Jane Frances School - will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and reopen from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The morning hours have the younger set in mind, with kids games for lucky lads and lassies, kiddie crafts, face painting, sand art and prize wheels.

Evening bazaar hours will feature games, money wheels, food (including homemade shrimp salad and shrimp soup) and drinks - with green beer and Irish coffee for the older crowd.

The kitchen will open at 4:30 p.m. for early dining.

Tickets will be sold for two raffles - "Winning O' the Green," for a $1,000 payout, and another whose grand prize is one year's tuition at the school, worth $3,000.

Information: 410-244-4750.

Kiwanis essay contest

The Kiwanis Club of Mountain Road is accepting entries for its annual essay contest.

The John Wilson Sr. Memorial Essay Contest is open to fifth-graders enrolled at 10 area elementary schools - Bodkin, Fort Smallwood, High Point, Jacobsville, Freetown, Lake Shore, Riviera Beach, St. Jane Frances, Solley and Sunset Beach.

Each year, club members choose a newsworthy topic for the essays, and this year's hot topic is, "Are You Going to Vote When You Are 18? Why or Why Not?"

Essays must be 200 words or less. They will be judged by club members on the basis of content, grammar, spelling and neatness.

Individual school winners will receive a $50 savings bond and compete for the Grand Trophy Award - including a dining gift certificate for their classroom teacher from Texas Roadhouse on Mountain Road.

Essay winners, their parents and teacher will be guests of the club at the annual awards banquet held in June.

"We had an exceptional turnout for the contest last year with 80 percent of the area schools and one-third of the eligible fifth-grade students participating," said Robert Baxter, Kiwanis Club spokesman.

Copies of contest rules are available at area schools.

Essays must be submitted to classroom teachers by March 26.

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