It is 1960, and a chorus of young girls energetically sings the praises of rock & roll idol Conrad Birdie. At Almelou Music Corp. in New York, Conrad's managers, Albert Peterson and Rosie Alvarez (who've been dating for years), learn that their client has been inducted into the army. Though she’d prefer that Albert settle down and become “An English Teacher,” Rosie concocts a plan: as a publicity stunt, Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with a public farewell kiss. Rosie randomly selects the name of the lucky girl: fifteen-year-old Kim MacAfee of Sweet Apple, Ohio.
Meanwhile, in Sweet Apple, every teenager in town is on the phone, gossiping about Kim and her new steady, Hugo Peabody (“The Telephone Hour”). Kim, who proudly celebrates her new maturity (“How Lovely To Be A Woman”), is astonished to hear the news about Birdie.
In New York’s Penn Station, Albert cheers up a downcast Birdie fan (“Put On A Happy Face”). Mae, Albert’s overbearing mother, voices her objections to his Spanish girlfriend, Rose, and Albert withers, failing to stand up for Rosie. Birdie arrives, pursued by reporters, but Albert and Rosie deftly manage the press (“Healthy Normal American Boy”). In Sweet Apple, Hugo is a bit jealous of the attention Kim pays to Birdie, but Kim assures Hugo he is the “One Boy” for her. On the courthouse steps, the Mayor welcomes Conrad, who bowls everyone over with his powerhouse hit, “Honestly Sincere.”
With Conrad staying for the week, the MacAfee household is completely turned upside down. A frustrated Mr. MacAfee threatens to put his foot down, until he hears the family will be appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show (“Hymn For A Sunday Evening”). Mae, who followed Albert and Rosie by bus, introduces Albert to a “sensational broad,” Gloria Rasputin, whom Albert begrudgingly hires as a typist. Rosie, enraged by Albert’s behavior, enlists the aide of Hugo in a plan to undermine the big show. On The Ed Sullivan Show, Conrad prepares to give Kim “One Last Kiss,” but at the last minute, Hugo steps onstage and punches Conrad, knocking him to the floor. Everyone scatters, and Rosie bids Albert a bitter farewell, leaving him alone on national television. Smiling nervously, Albert desperately tries to recover (“Healthy Normal American Boy” Reprise).
Rosie and Kim furiously pack up to leave their men (“What Did I Ever See In Him?”). Albert and Mae make a new plan: Conrad will now kiss Kim at the train station before he leaves. But Conrad is tired of being locked up in a suburban household, and he invites the kids to join him in a wild night out (“A Lot of Livin’ To Do”). Mr. and Mrs. MacAfee, fearing the worst, join up with other parents to find their teens (“Kids!”). Meanwhile, Rosie makes her way to a dive bar, where she refuses to take a phone call from Albert (“Baby, Talk To Me”) and parties with a roomful of businessmen (“The Shriner Ballet”). Mae continues to pester Albert and berate Rosie. Finally, Albert stands up to his mother, demanding that she go home.
At the Ice House, a popular “make-out spot” for teens, Kim tries to ward off Conrad’s advances. The parents and Hugo arrive just in time, and Kim realizes that she belongs with Hugo. Rosie and Albert make up, too, and Rosie has a bit of fun mocking Mae (“Spanish Rose”). The next morning, Albert sneaks Conrad out of town and tells Rose he’s accepted a teaching job in Pumpkin Falls, Iowa. Albert and Rose celebrate their new future (“Rosie”) and dance off into the sunset.
(6 female; 5 male)ALBERT PETERSON
– Young man in early thirties, President of Almaelou Music Corp. (Range: (opt. F2) Bb2-Gb4)ROSE ALVAREZ
– Feisty young woman in early thirties, Albert's secretary. Principal dancer and singer (Range: (opt. F3) Gb3-C5)CONRAD BIRDIE
– Rock star and teen idol (Range: Ab2-Gb4)MRS. MAE PETERSON
– Albert's mother, the quintessential "Mama"MR. HARRY MACAFEE
– Father of Kim and Randolph (Range: C3-E4)MRS. DORIS MACAFEE
– Mother of Kim and Randolph (Range: Bb3-F5)KIM MACAFEE
– 15 years old, determined and self-possessed (Range: G3-Ab5)RANDOLPH MACAFEE
– Kim's younger brother (Range: D3-D4)HUGO PEABODY
– Kim's "steady," nerdy but sincereURSULA MERKLE
– A hyper-enthusiastic friend and neighbor of Kim's (Range: D4-F5)GLORIA RASPUTIN
– A broad, tap-dancing "secretary." Mae's choice to replace Rosie
(8 female; 3 male)
DEBORAH SUE – Sweet Apple teenager. Teen chorus (Range: D4-F5)
MARGIE – Teen chorus. Speaks Act I, Scene 5; Act I, Scene 7 (Range: D4-F5)
ALICE – Sweet Apple teenager and Mayor's daughter. Teen chorus
HARVEY JOHNSON – Teen chorus. Speaks Act I, Scene 2 (Range: D3-F#4)
HELEN – Teenage singer (non-speaking)
NANCY – Teen chorus. Speaks Act I, Scene 5
PENELOPE – voice; Act I, Scene 5; Act II, Scene 7
ONE GIRL - Teen girls chorus. Speaks Act I, Scene 4
BARTENDER (Charles F. Maude) – Proprietor/bartender of 'Maude's Roadside Retreat," member of Male Quartet
MAYOR – Of Sweet Apple, Ohio
MAYOR'S WIFE (Edna) – Member of Quartette in Act I, Scene 9
MRS. MERKLE – Ursula's mother
MR. JOHNSON – Harvey's father
CONRAD'S GUITAR MAN (non-speaking)
POLICEMAN – In New York train station. Speaks Act I, Scene 4
SECOND REPORTER (non-speaking cameraman)
TRAVELER – Part of crowd in New York train station. Speaks Act I, Scene 4 only
TRAINMAN – Voice; Act I, Scene 4
From the Chorus (non-speaking)
2 SAD GIRLS – Dancers
TRAVELERS – Adult Chorus
TRAIN STATION PERSONNEL – Baggage handlers, etc.
POLICEMEN - Several, in New York and Ohio
SWEET APPLE PARENTS – Adult Chorus
2 DRUM MAJORETTES
TV SHOW STAGE CREW:
2 Audio Men
2 Wardrobe Women
DISHWASHER – At Maude's. Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4
FIRST CUSTOMER – At Maude's. Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4
SECOND CUSTOMER – At Maude's. Male Quartet; speaks Act II, Scene 4
QUARTET OF TOWNSPEOPLE – "Male Quartet"
SWEET APPLE SHRINERS – Dancers
ED SULLIVAN (offstage)
2 REPORTERS (additional)
FRED – Act I, Scene 5
LEE – Act I, Scene 5
PHYLLIS – Act I, Scene 5
FOUR MEN – Act I, Scene 7
GIRL – Act I, Scene 7
TRAIN CONDUCTOR – Act II, Scene 8
ANOTHER PARENT – Act II, Scene 6
The original Broadway production had a cast of 47 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.