Bye Bye Birdie cast flies back into the past

By Mia Randall, Editor in Chief and Emma Canillo, Managing Editor

Beginning on Nov. 4, the El Camino community was sent back into the 50’s for a lively performance of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, held by EC’s Drama Program.

The six separate performances were shown in EC’s Performing Arts Center, and directed by Drama Teacher Christopher Travlos over the course of two weeks. The shows featured a number of students from all grade levels.

“I chose Bye Bye Birdie because it’s one of my favorite shows—I was first introduced to it through the 1963 movie with Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke—it’s a very fun, goofy show and I think we had the right cast for it because we have a very energetic and funny group,” Travlos said. 

The upbeat show was a great way to showcase the talent of EC’s Drama Program and it gained a shower of attention from the community. This year, Travlos decided to put on a total of six shows, unlike the usual four that went on previous years.

“Because we did six [shows], the audiences were a little bit smaller—it was a little bit under what we usually have, maybe because we are getting back from [quarantine],” Travlos said.

Having many seniors who graduated and left the program last year, a new group of students were tasked with putting together the show and embodying the roles they were given.

“At first we had a lot of challenges—things weren’t super smooth and we had a lot of bumps in the road,” Travlos said. “Right before opening night, things came together and I’m really proud of it.”

Bye Bye Birdie cast performs dance routine to the song “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.” Photo courtesy of Jacob Carpenter

Josie Blair (‘23) was one of the students who auditioned and was casted as Kim McAfee in the musical.

“Roles like Kim are so much fun because they are bubbly and outgoing characters—it’s always been pretty easy for me to slip into that persona,” Blair said.

Being a part of several different musical performances in her previous years, Blair has quite a bit of experience with the program and was able to put on an exciting show for the audiences.

“I think the musical went very well—this is the most fun musical we’ve done,” Blair said.

The six combined shows were on sale to EC students, staff, and the surrounding community and the hard work that came from students was shown and applauded by audiences.

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