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Press Release

Release Date: March 14, 2018

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

An orchestra with combined experience of more than 100 years has been assembled in a quest to transport audiences into simpler times with tunes from the score of the Adams and Strouse 1950s musical-comedy, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Cast, orchestra, production team and technical crew in the Chickasaw Nation production have prepped for the show for months, attending dress rehearsals, reciting lines and making sure every step was carefully choreographed and every catchy show tune note mastered.

Zach Garcia, production director, Kaitlin Moore, choreographer and Ben Barrick, trumpet player, have all played a role in the production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“The best part of working with the cast and crew has been collaborating with them in an effort to put our own spin on the story,” Garcia said. “I have worked with all of our actors to rewrite certain aspects of their characters and the show as a whole. As a result, we have a unique version of Bye Bye Birdie to present and I am thrilled with the final product we have created!”

Garcia served as the music director for the Chickasaw Nation’s production of “South Pacific” leading him to his current role for “Bye Bye Birdie.” He attributes his strong work ethic to his Chickasaw heritage and says that he’s proud of this ideal, one he believes to be common in the Chickasaw Nation.

Garcia began his piano studies at the age of 4 and moved on to composing his own works at the age of 8. He recently became the only solo artist in the history of Oklahoma to receive a sixth gold cup in the National Federation of Music Clubs for 14 consecutive superior ratings in piano performance.

Barrick, well-known by locals for his talent, began playing trumpet at age 9 in Woodward, Oklahoma. He considered himself a “band jock” while playing in the high school band as well as the ECU and University of Central Oklahoma’s bands. Barrick has participated in countless musicals such as “Oklahoma!,” “Oliver,” “1776” and “Guys and Dolls.”

“I love music, and I especially love the trumpet,” he said. “As a youngster, I’d see Louis Armstrong on television and watch the old movies like ‘The Benny Goodman Story’ and the ‘Glen Miller Story,’ and I was hooked.”

His most memorable time playing music was when he was in a big band swing group called “The Moonlighters.” The group played for dance clubs all across Oklahoma.

Barrick said it was a tremendous honor to be asked to play for the inauguration of Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby.

“I encourage everyone who was ever in school band and still has their instrument to pull it out of the case, dust it off and start playing,” Barrick said.

Moore currently teaches tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and ballroom at the Chickasaw Nation Dance Studio. Her training at Shannon Crites School of Dance, Steps on Broadway and East Central University (ECU) led her to performing at venues across the U.S. including Radio City Music Hall and the American Collegiate Dance Festival.

Moore graduated from ECU in 2015 with a degree in kinesiology with a minor in dance.

Set in 1958, “Bye Bye Birdie” follows the story of Conrad Birdie, a rock singer who travels to a small Ohio town to make his farewell television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

To Conrad’s surprise, the antics of the townsfolk cause his simple stay in town to be filled with chaos in the form of jealous boyfriends, strict parents and a fan club full of teenage girls crazy about him.

“Bye Bye Birdie” was written by Michael Stewart, with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.

The production team includes Corey King as producer, Garcia as production director, John Luke Garber as stage manager, Theo Peshehonoff as technical director, Molly West as assistant technical director, Mason Gibson as tech staff, Moore as choreographer, Spencer Cody as musical director and Lei Rumley as outreach coordinator.

Lead actors in the production include Luke Crabtree as Conrad Birdie, Adam Crabtree as Albert Peterson, Dee Dee Penigton as Mrs. Mae Peterson, Elizabeth Lester as Rose Alvarez, Natalie Jack as Kim MacAfee, Rumley as Mrs. Doris MacAfee, Shan Scroggins as Mr. Harry MacAfee and Will Brock as Hugo Peabody.

“Bye Bye Birdie” is the Chickasaw Nation's second large-scale musical endeavor with last year’s “South Pacific” being the first.

“I think this show can impact smaller communities by creating opportunities for involvement in professional theater that are not usually available to individuals residing in smaller communities,” Garcia said. “I hope that this show inspires those in our community and the surrounding areas to participate in our productions in the future and to join in on all of the fun.”

Tickets for the show will be $10. Showtimes for the production are as follows:

Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, 7 p.m. Ada Cougar Activity Center, Ada High School, 1400 S. Stadium Drive, Ada, Oklahoma. For ticketing information, call 580-272-5520.

Friday, March 30, 7 p.m. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 401 First Ave. SW, Ardmore, Oklahoma. For ticketing information, call 580-286-0909.

For more information, contact the Chickasaw Nation Arts and Humanities at 580-272-5520.

Last Updated: 09/16/2016