Well, Conrad Birdie definitely had the chicks a-screaming on the Fairhope Bluff as Bye Bye Birdie played for three straight nights to huge crowds in Henry George Park.
To top off the stellar performances was the five-star weather we’ve been enjoying here on the Gulf Coast. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs crowded together to see the Eastern Shore Reperatory Theatre‘s third outdoor musical.
With the sunset over Mobile Bay as the background, you couldn’t have had a better location for an evening of entertainment.
The Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre (ESRT) founded and directed by Erin Langley, has reached into the community to discover local talent that far outshines our small-town image. Not only does the company produce fabulous local performances, but they also offer musical summer camps, dance and musical theatre classes and award multiple scholarships to other theatre programs.
Seeing the talent of our neighbors, friends and people we see in the grocery store is exciting.
Theatre on the bluff is a long tradition in Fairhope, and it’s always nice to sit beneath the stars and think about how many other generations have done the exact same thing. Of course now, we have professional lighting, sound systems and gorgeous costumes.
The character of Conrad Birdie was played by my son’s friend, Liam Searcy, who is only 16 years old. His talent is amazing, and in his non-theatrical teenage life, he was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout from local Troop 47, something only 5% of scouts ever accomplish. In other words, Liam, who is also a home schooler, is a very well-rounded teen.
Shelby Wisely graduated from Fairhope High School a few years ago with my older son and for such a short time on stage, she packed a punch and had the audience in stitches. Definitely one of my favorite moments of the show.
Anna DeWayne (above), Jason McCormick, Payton Robinson, Paul Glisson, and another personal favorite — not only for her beautiful voice, but also for her hilarious facial expressions of the ditzy mother was Ashley Conyers — all made a huge impression.
The cranky, bossy mother, played by Trish Scarpuzzi was perfectly cast, and played her part so well, that when her son told her to leave . . . the crowd cheered! Louis Cunningham was also a favorite . . . and now, I’ve made the mistake of starting to name all the favorites, but they were ALL my favorites! Even the smallest dancers did the best job with their expressions, and sang their little hearts out!
Thanks to my husband, Robert Tarabella for the photos.