CONRAD Birdie is off to the army. Conrad (Dane Strudwick), the rock sensation and central character in Ballina Players' musical production Bye Bye Birdie, has been drafted.
His agent and publicist Albert Peterson (Jordan Stotter) hatches an audacious plan.
Conrad will perform Albert's new song, One Last Kiss, to a lucky fan club member and kiss her goodbye on the Ed Sullivan Show.
This, Albert plans, will make the song a huge financial success and enable him to achieve his ambitions. But the grand plan ends in disaster.
In terms of pop culture significance, the induction of Elvis Presley into the army in 1957 was a major event.
Bye Bye Birdie is a humorous and affectionate satire on American society in the late 1950s and the emerging teenage obsession with singers such as Elvis and the rock'n'roll movement.
Elvis himself even contemplated starring in the movie, which followed the musical.
Bye Bye Birdie, which opens tomorrow, has all the elements of a hilarious comedy, with first love, boyfriend jealousy, parental hypocrisy and below star-standard behaviour from the rock idol.
Audiences will recognise such musical theatre classics as One Last Kiss, A Mother Doesn't Matter Any More, What Did I Ever See In Him?, Spanish Rose and Kids.
It is directed by Warwick Binney and Paul Belsham.
Bye Bye Birdie will be staged at the Players Theatre from tomorrow to July 5. Evening performances will start at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Opening night tomorrow will be a special event, with pre-show champagne and finger food. Book online at www.ballinaplayers.com.au or at Just Funkin Music, 6686 2440.