by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com
New Jersey, July 26, 2011 -- Seeing a Broadway musical at "SummerStage at Leonia" has become a family affair for Leonia's residents since medical practitioners/husband and wife tandem, Frank and Joanne Livelli, put on a summer stock production of The Wizard of Oz in 2000.
11 years later and after a string of successful productions of The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Carousel, among others, the Livelli couple returns to the Little Theatre in Leonia at Leonia High School with a big cast of 60 (and a live orchestra) for a production of Charles Strouse and Lee Adam's old-fashioned bubble gum musical, Bye Bye Birdie, which is running only until July 31.
"SummerStage primarily aims to produce a high quality musical suitable for family theatergoing in midsummer. We also raise funds to support the arts in schools and other performing arts organizations like The Players Guild of Leonia, St. John's Theater Guild and the Fresh Air Fund," Dr. Livelli told BroadwayWorld.com.
For the summer, The Livellis are working closely with stage director Ray Yucis (Oklahoma!, Carousel), music director Carolyn Russo and choreographer Inga Thrasher (Carousel) to effectively transport their audiences young and old right back to the golden era of rock 'n' roll and audacious fangirling during the '60s.
Tony Award-winning musical Bye Bye Birdie is loosely based on rock 'n' roll icon Elvis Presley's entry into the U.S. army and on one of his rivals, Conway Twitty. Its original Broadway production, which starred Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, opened to mostly rave reviews in 1960. It later spun off a London production, a Hollywood film, a made for TV movie, numerous regional and community Theater Productions and a Broadway revival in 2009, which starred John Stamos, Bill Irwin and Allie Trimm.
Bye Bye Birdie at "SummerStage at Leonia" features Dan Giordano (Albert Peterson ), Gina Cirillo (Rosie Alvarez), Gianna-Leigh Bastar (Ursula Merkle), Krysten Sears (Kim MacAfee), Theresa Taylor (Mrs. Doris MacAfee), Steve Moldt (Mr. Harry MacAfee ), Helen Boyadjian (Mrs Mae Peterson ), Greg Taylor (Hugo Peabody) Zach Tait (Conrad Birdie ), Orion Yedidia (Randolph MacAfee ) and Megan Taylor (Gloria Rasputin ).
For tickets, call 201-944-4300 or visit www.leoniasummerstage.org.
For more photos, click HERE.