Bye Bye Birdie


Bye Bye Birdie

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  6w, 5m plus ensemble

Book by Michael Stewart
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Lee Adams

Originally Produced by Edward Padula

Teenagers, rock & roll and national television – Bye Bye Birdie captures the energy and excitement of the late 1950s with warmth, hilarity and an exuberant score.

Image: 2009 Roundabout Theatre Company Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6w, 5m plus ensemble
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Winner! Four 1961 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
    Nominee: Eight 1961 Tony Awards
    Winner! 1961 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical
    Winner! 1996 Primetime Emmy Award, Outstanding Music & Lyrics



A loving send-up of the 1950s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll, Bye Bye Birdie remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses All-American girl Kim MacAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score, plenty of great parts for teens, and a hilarious script, Birdie continues to thrill audiences around the world.

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Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway, April 14, 1960 and played for 607 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre (later at the 54th Street and the Shubert Theatres) starring Chita Rivera as Rose and Dick Van Dyke as Albert. The show played for 268 performances in London at Her Majesty's Theatre. In 2009, it was revived on Broadway at Henry Miller’s Theatre.
Act I

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).

Act II

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 sincere
URSULA 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
SUZIE (non-speaking)
KARL (non-speaking)
FREDDIE (non-speaking)
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
Stage Manager
4 Stagehands
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

Various Voices

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

The original Broadway production had a cast of 47 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • Time Period 1950s
  • Setting New York City and Sweet Apple, Ohio, 1960.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“A superbly stylish throwback to the 1950s! Genuine fun, fizz and frenzy... total silliness.” – The Chicago Sun-Times

“An amusing, light-hearted send-up of 50s teen culture... Written in 1960, this Broadway musical may have been one of the earliest satires of 1950s middle-class society... the entire show is a colorful delight.” – Chicago Critic

“A rollicking musical firmly rooted in the 50s, Bye Bye Birdie has been popular since its 1960 Broadway debut. Michael Stewart's scripts holds up... the tunes are eminently hummable... the show stopped as individual scenes recieved ovations from the capacity audience.” – The LA Times


  • Strouse and Adams on Bye Bye Birdie youtube thumbnail

    Strouse and Adams on Bye Bye Birdie

  • Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway 2009 youtube thumbnail

    Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway 2009

  • "The Telephone Hour" youtube thumbnail

    "The Telephone Hour"

  • "A Lot of Livin' To Do" youtube thumbnail

    "A Lot of Livin' To Do"

  • "Honestly Sincere" youtube thumbnail

    "Honestly Sincere"

  • "Put On A Happy Face" youtube thumbnail

    "Put On A Happy Face"

Show more +


  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Image: 2009 Roundabout Theatre Company Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Image: 2009 Roundabout Theatre Company Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Image: Sam Norkin

  • Bye Bye Birdie

    Image: Sam Norkin


Music Samples

Act I

1.Overture A – Orchestra with Teen Girls in Pit
1a.  Overture B – Orchestra with Conrad & Teen Girls in Pit
2. Opening Curtain – Orchestra
3. “An English Teacher” – Rosie
4. “The Telephone Hour” – Teen Chorus
5. Playoff: The Telephone Hour – Orchestra
6. “How Lovely to Be a Woman” – Kim
7. Penn Station Transition – Orchestra
8. “Put On a Happy Face” – Albert
9. “A Healthy, Normal, American Boy” – Albert, Rosie, Teen Chorus & Adult Chorus
10. “Penn Station to Sweet Apple” – Teens & Adults
11. “Sweet Apple Band” – Teen Chorus
12. “One Boy” – Kim, Two Girls & Rosie
13. Sweet Apple Station – Orchestra
14. “Honestly Sincere” – Conrad & Teen Chorus
15. “Wounded” – Margie, Deborah Sue & Ursula
16. “Hymn for a Sunday Evening (Ed Sullivan) – The MacAfees & Chorus
17. One Hundred Ways (Ballet) – Orchestra with 3 Teen Girls in Pit
18. TV Theme – Orchestra
19. “One Last Kiss” – Conrad, Quartet, Albert, Teens, Principals & Chorus

Act II

20. Entr’acte A – Orchestra
20a. Entr’acte B – Orchestra with Teen Girls
21. “What Did I Ever See In Him?” – Rosie & Kim
22. Underscore: See In Him – Orchestra
23. Reprise: “What Did I Ever See In Him?” – Rosie
24. “A Lot of Livin’ To Do” – Conrad, Teen Chorus & Kim
25. “Kids” – Mr. & Mrs. MacAfee
26. Scene Change: Kids – Orchestra
27. “Baby, Talk to Me” – Albert & Male Quartet
28. Transition to Shriners – Orchestra
29. Shriner Ballet – Orchestra
30. Shriner Playoff – Orchestra
31. Incidental: Glory Hallelujah – Orchestra
32. Reprise: “Kids” – Mr. & Mrs. MacAfee, Randolph & Adult Chorus
33. Lamont Cranston to Ice House – Orchestra
34. “Ice House Livin’” – Teen Chorus
35. Reprise: “An English Teacher” – Rosie
36. “Spanish Rose” – Rosie
37. Morning – Orchestra
38. “Hand Car” – Teen Girls
39. “Rosie” – Albert & Rosie
40. Finale – Orchestra
41. Bows & Exit Music – Orchestra

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size X-Large
  • Chorus Size Large

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: There are multiple versions of this title. Before you proceed, please double-check to ensure that you are applying for the version you want. We will not be able to refund rental or shipping fees if you pay for the wrong version. If you’re not sure which version best suits your needs, you may purchase a perusal for each available version.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
25   Libretto-Vocal Book
1   Piano-Conductor (rehearsal & stick conductor)

1   Reed 1 – Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1   Reed 2 – Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1   Reed 3 – Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1   Reed 4 – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
1   Horn
2   Trumpet 1&2
1   Trumpet 3
1   Trombone 1
1   Trombone 2 – with F attachment
1   Piano
2   Percussion 1&2 – Perc. 1: Bells (Glock.), Vibraphone, Xylophone, Chimes, Timpani (2 drums), Tambourine, Timbales, Gran Cassa, Snare Drum Case, Sus. Cymbal, Castanets, Gourd, Cowbell, Piatti, Triangle & Ratchet. Perc. 2: Trap drum set, Bass Drum, Snare Drum & Rack Tom, Floor Tom, various Cymbals, Hi-hat, Crash, Ride, Finger, Wood Blocks (2), Bongos, Large Military Snare Drum, Gong, Gunshot, Kazoo (or Ratchet), Piatti, Triangle & Ratchet.
1   Guitar/Banjo – Banjo for “Overture A”; Electric Bass for “Telephone Hour” and “One Hundred Ways – Ballet” only
6   Violin (6 players)
4   Cello (4 players)
1   Bass

1   String Synthesizer (Optional) – Covers all the music for violins and cellos. The book can serve either as a section replacement or reinforcement for a small string section. String Bass is not covered by this part.

Additional Material: 
1 Package of Optional Additional Songs from the 1995 television presentation: “Spanish Rose (Revised)”, “Let’s Settle Down”, “A Mother Doesn’t Matter Anymore”
Optional rental material is subject to additional licensing and rental fees.

A Full Score is available for this title for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for additional information. 
25   Libretto-Vocal Book
1   Piano-Conductor (rehearsal & performance)

Additional Material: 
1 Package of Optional Additional Songs from the 1995 television presentation: “Spanish Rose (Revised)”, “Let’s Settle Down”, “A Mother Doesn’t Matter Anymore”
Optional rental material is subject to additional licensing and rental fees.


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Lee Adams

Lee Adams began his professional career as a journalist, working as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and editor, and radio writer and interviewer. But his life took a sudden turn when his “hobby” of lyric writing led to Bye, Bye Birdie in 1960. This unheralded little Bro ...

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Charles Strouse

Charles Strouse is one of America's most successful musical theatre composers. His first Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (1960), written with his long-time collaborator Lee Adams, won him a Tony Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In 1970, Applause, star ...

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Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart (1924-1987) scored on Broadway the first time when he won a Tony Award for his Bye Bye Birdie libretto. He was the librettist for Carnival (Drama Critics Circle Award) and Hello, Dolly!, which earned him both a Tony and Drama Critics prize. Stewart also wrote ...

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