Michael Gruber and Ann Michels will headline Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s fall production of “Bye Bye Birdie.” They play Albert Peterson, the frantic agent who represents Conrad Birdie, and Rose Alvarez, who wishes Albert would settle down with her in a small town.
Frank Moran, a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities, makes his Chanhassen debut as Birdie, the Elvis knockoff who stirs this 1960 musical. Jessica Fredrickson plays Kim MacAfee, the wholesome Ohio girl who is chosen to receive Birdie’s final kiss before he joins the army.
Chanhassen regulars Michelle Barber and Keith Rice are on board as Kim’s parents, who lead one of the best-known numbers in the show, “Kids.”
Michael Brindisi will direct the show, which actually has a ton of familiar songs. “Put On A Happy Face,” “Got A Lot of Livin,’” “One Last Kiss” and that staple of junior high talent shows everywhere, "The Telephone Hour," are a few.
“Birdie” opens in early October. “Xanadu,” the spoofy musical based on the movie, runs until the end of September. The lead characters from each show – Gruber and Michels, and Jodi Carmeli and Dieter Bierbrauer – are slated to sing at the Cub Foods stage at the Minnesota State Fair on Labor Day, at 12:15 p.m.
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The Jan. 27-28 birthday lineup at First Ave will also feature Strand of Oaks, Sam Roberts and local newcomers Jay Smart, Monica LaPlante and Black Market Brass.