Search This Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bye Bye Birdie (1995)

When a rock and roll star by the name of Conrad Birdie (Marc Kudisch) is drafted into the Army, the secretary (Vanessa Williams) of his manager and songwriter (Jason Alexander) suggests he write a song and arrange for Birdie to sing it on The Ed Sullivan Show while bestowing a kiss on a randomly selected member of his fan club. Based on the hit Broadway musical and directed by Gene Saks (BAREFOOT IN THE PARK). This is not a remake of the 1963 film but a recreation of the original 1960 stage musical with all of the songs (written by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams) from the stage version eliminated from the 1963 movie reinstated into the film (except for the How To Kill A Man ballet). This production does add the title song written specifically for the 1963 movie into the mix. There has been a lot of criticism of the 1963 film version for altering it to focus on Ann-Margret (it worked, it made her a star) but as this production shows, the stage show had its share of things that didn't work like the Gloria Rasputin character who was eliminated from the movie. Jason Alexander is unbearable here, his continual "aren't I cute" expression had me wishing someone would punch him in the face. Vanessa Williams as Rosie is okay with her Shriners dance a highlight although Ann Reinking's choreography is otherwise uninspired. Overall, it's just pretty flat and doesn't have the sparkle of the film. With Tyne Daly, Chynna Phillips (of Wilson Phillips), George Wendt and Sally Mayes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment