Bye Bye Birdie Flies onto Broadway

Ever lost your cool at the thought of a talented cutie like Zac Efron? Your celebrity crush is nothing new! Crooner Conrad Birdie evokes the same reaction in the classic musical Bye Bye Birdie. The high-energy show, being revived on Broadway this month, focuses on good-girl Kim McAfee (Allie Trimm, 13 and “30 Rock”) as she navigates her burgeoning womanhood—and Conrad’s (Nolan Gerard Funk, Nickelodeon’s Spectacular!) trip to her town. Allie, 14, and Nolan, 23, gave DS the scoop on the show. —Lauren Kay



DS: What can we expect from this version of BBB?


Nolan Gerard Funk: It’s an original take on a classic story. Conrad has been depicted as smooth and not very genuine, but my take is that he’s raw and youthful.


DS:What do you like best about the show?


Allie Trimm: It’s full of energy. Every time I come to rehearsal, I feel like I’m going to a concert with groupies screaming for Conrad. If I were in the audience, I would have a hard time not dancing!

DS: What’s your favorite part about playing Kim and Conrad?


AT: Kim is just like me and most 15-year-old girls. We’re not kids, but we’re not women either. We want to be treated like adults, but if it comes down to it, we still call for mommy.


NGF: I love that I’m playing someone who was straying from the norm and became an original performer. In my research, I explored artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. I found where that rockabilly sound lives, as well as how it was influenced by jazz.



DS:What’s your favorite dance number?


AT: “Lot of Livin’ to Do” is the most amazing dance I’ve ever done. It’s movement from the 50s and 60s but made current and cool.


NGF: I love that number, too, because the movement is sharp and low in plié. It’s like we’re all sitting on dangerous, bubbling energy.



DS: What’s your favorite element of the show?


AT: The music! I love to sing the song “How Lovely to Be a Woman,” because it really describes what it’s like to be a teenage girl! And just like in 13, this show was cast age appropriately, so I’m singing about what I’m really going through, and so are my teenage castmates.



DS: What’s your advice to aspiring performers?


AT: Be confident! The minute you back away and doubt yourself, people notice it and say you’re not cut out for this business.


NGF: Whatever you’re passionate about, do it as much as possible and create opportunities for yourself.


Bye Bye Birdie also stars the mega-famous Gina Gershon and John Stamos!



Pictured: Allie Trimm and Nolan Gerard Funk. Photo Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

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