Bye Bye Birdie Opens this month at the Merrill Community Arts Center

The Merrill Community Arts Center presents a classic musical satire.
Bye Bye Birdie cast members Jack Bonko, left, Garrett Hildebrandt and Pari Cariaga.

Local powerhouse Merrill Community Arts Center (MCAC) presents their summer
blockbuster performance: Bye Bye Birdie, one of the most iconic stage musicals
of our time. Set in 1958, the musical satire on American society tells the story
of fictional rock and roll singer Conrad Birdie, who is about to be inducted
into the Army.

The cast features about 20 teenagers, 15 adults and a handful of younger
children in the ensemble. Meanwhile, nearly 100 people work behind the scenes to
pull all the pieces together. Whether directing the show, conducting the music,
building the set, making costumes and props, doing publicity and tickets,
running lights and sound, or ushering, it takes a lot of people playing various
roles to make Bye Bye Birdie an enjoyable experience for the audience.

The decision to perform Bye Bye Birdie was an easy one for the MCAC.
According to operations director Michelle Witte, “Bye Bye Birdie is one of the
all-time favorites in musical theater. It’s a perfect family show, has great
roles for teenagers, and has a wonderful nostalgic quality of the 1950s that
entertains all ages.”

For tickets, visit or

WHAT: Bye Bye Birdie
WHEN: July 25, 26, August 1, 2 at 7 p.m.; July 27 and August 3 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: The Loft Stage, East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Drive
COST: $12-18