Curtains open for spring musical


Alex Kane

The cast of “Bye Bye Birdie” practices the ending of Act 1 at a rehearsal.

Southern Lehigh theater students are excited to be back onstage preparing their production of the 1960 musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” Rehearsing after school nearly every weekday in preparation, their expectations for a live in-person performance of the musical this spring are anything but low.

“I’m just excited for the process because we haven’t had one in a while,” senior cast member Rocco Corradini said. “It’s all just like a rollercoaster.”

Since last year, COVID-19 restrictions have affected how rehearsals are run. Unlike last year, students are no longer required to be six feet apart while rehearsing. For the fall play, they used face shields, but since the district moved to optional masking on January 24, students may choose whether or not to wear a face covering during practice.

The student actors, actresses, and crew have been working hard along with theater director Mr. Matthew Wehr to bring the old musical back to the present. The time spent on rehearsals and behind-the-scenes preparations from students is not simple work, but they are dedicated to the show.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes prep work by both myself and ultimately by the cast,” Mr. Wehr said. “We then have a give and take where I present ideas, and they present ideas, and we ultimately end up in the middle.”

While there are likely many students who have never heard of “Bye Bye Birdie,” they should not let that stop them from seeing the show in the spring. According to theater students and Mr. Wehr, it’s a dramatic musical with lively characters.

“It’s basically about this rockstar that gets drafted into the war, and his agent is freaking out,” senior cast member Isaac Pellegrino said. “And his secretary that has a little thing for him has this wonderful idea where he can kiss his biggest fan before he goes to war, and they capitalize on this idea and write a new song.”

“Bye Bye Birdie” is sure to meet the audience’s expectations with a talented cast of Southern Lehigh students. Tickets are available for the spring musical which will run from March 16-20.