The Martensville High School Choir performed the musical ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ on Friday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 4th. The talented cast dazzled the audience with their renditions of some of the famous songs such as; “Telephone Hour”, “A Lot of Livin’ to Do”, “Honestly Sincere”, and many more. The musical is set around the story of Music Manager Albert and his wife Rosie, who devise a plan to have Rock and Roll Superstar Conrad Birdie kiss one of his biggest fans on television. The plan is uprooted when everyone surrounding them gets involved.
The MHS Choir worked tirelessly to recreate the Tony-Award winning musical, and made some slight changes to the famous stage show to make it more relatable to those in attendance. Numerous underlying messages were present throughout the performance with themes such as rushing to grow up, bring reluctant to grow up, celebrity culture, the relationship between parents and children, the stereotypical roles of women and men in 1960s North America and the pervasive influence of American culture. Director and Choreographer Mrs. Beck, was so proud of the amazing group of talented individuals involved in the performance. “It was a lot of work, but it was a great deal of fun because they are such a strong cast and they just enjoyed it so much. I hope that this will provide them with fond memories for many years to come,” Mrs. Beck said.
The cast consisted of Cole Zacharias (Albert Peterson & voice of Ed Sullivan), Cassidy Funk (Rosie Alvarez), Grace Hoppe (Mrs. Mae Peterson & Nancy), Winslorbless Lumapas (Kim MacAfee), Noah Fehr (Conrad Birdie), Kate Jalbert (Mrs. Doris MacAfee & Sad Girl), Emma Ens (Mr. Harry MacAfee & Helen), Caedmon Funk (Randolf MacAfee), Dylan Berk (Hugo Peabody & Harvey Johnson), Chanelle Poulin (Mayor & Second Reporter), Tori Fehr (Ursula Merkle), Grayson Dean (Deborah Sue & Mrs. Johnson), Avery Smith (Alice & Conductor), Kara Leier (Margie), Janaya MacKenzie (Suzie & Police Officer), Mia Novecosky (Mrs. Merkle & First Reporter).
The MHS Choir wanted to give a special thank you to the behind the scenes contributors including; Brooklyn Chorney for the incredible art design, Lukas Powell and the MHS industrial arts team for the staircase, Bev Zunti for the immaculate costu
mes, Mr. Kaweski for production of the musical, Dan Beck for the set design as well as everyone else involved behind the scenes. “To be able to see their faces after all of the effort they put in and see them light up when the audience reacted to their performance, it was just magical. All of the hard work was worth it for that moment,” Mr. Kaweski stated.
Following the performance there was mixed feelings of happiness, relief and of course, a twinge of sadness that the weekend shows were done. Speaking with members of the cast in days following the two night event, it was clear that throughout all of the practices and rehearsals, this group had become family. “I had an absolute blast doing the musical, and I did it with the best possible people,” Cole Zacharias said. “I loved being in the musical so much and to be able to do it with some of my best friends, and the teachers involved made it so entertaining for us. I will always be grateful for this experience,” Tori Fehr added.
Although their time working together was memorable and appreciated, there was another group of people involved that made the performances that much more special – the audience. “It is so much fun being up there because it is exhilarating. You hear the audience’s reactions and it is just so visceral. It is one of the greatest feelings in the world,” said Grace Hoppe. “When you are up there, you get the energy from the crowd. You don’t pull out the energy from yourself, it all comes from the audience and it is thrilling after all of that hard work,” added Janaya MacKenzie.
With this year’s performance complete, numerous members of the MHS Choir are already looking forward to next year’s musical and wanted to share how special being involved in choir is and encourage others to get involved. “This musical was an absolute adventure to say the very least. I am already experiencing withdrawal,” Emma Ens stated. “There is such a wide array of talent involved, whether it is on stage, or behind the scenes. We have this incredible mixture of a lot of creative brains and varying talents that make everything come together,” Winslorbless Lumapas explained.