FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018
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St. Joseph Catholic School to stage hit


musical “Bye Bye Birdie” in April


MADISON (Friday, March 23, 2018) – Broadway leaves its mark on St. Joseph Catholic School next month when students stage the popular, Tony Award-winning, Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” for a three-day, four-performance run.

Student actors and musicians have been preparing and rehearsing the musical since January. “Bye Bye Birdie,” loosely inspired by the media frenzy when Elvis was drafted in to the Army in 1957, is the school’s second and final theatrical production this year.

“’Bye Bye Birdie’ is a fun, upbeat musical with great songs – and a great opportunity to showcase the talented students we have at St. Joe,” said Ms. Leslie Harkins, the St. Joe theater teacher who is directing the musical.

“I can’t wait to see our students take to the stage with this production, one that is suitable for the entire family,” Harkins said.

In the musical, pop star Conrad Birdie is drafted into the Army. Birdie’s agent plans to have Birdie sing his new song “One Last Kiss” on The Ed Sullivan Show; Birdie also will give one girl from his fan club a “last kiss” before heading to the Army.

The musical, starring Dick Van Dyke, first opened on Broadway April 14, 1960, before closing Oct. 7, 1961 after 607 performances. The play won several 1961 Tony Awards including ones for best musical, best actor, best choreography and best director.

St. Joseph’s production opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the school’s Fine Arts theater, 308 New Mannsdale Road in Madison. Other performances include 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, as well as 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday April 7. 

Admission is free for St. Joe students and $10 for the general public. Tickets will be available at the Fine Arts theater the day of the performance. You also can buy tickets anytime online at

St. Joseph Catholic School, in Madison about a mile west of the interstate 55-Mississippi 463 Exit, offers seventh- through 12th-grade education with a rigorous college prep curriculum grounded in the teaching of the Catholic Church.

St. Joe was founded in 1870 by the Sisters of Mercy and is accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education and AdvancED. The school has been named Mississippi’s No. 1 Catholic high school in 2016 and again in 2017.

Besides core academic subjects students are required to take, St. Joe also offers an extensive list of electives – including many that are part of the Fine Arts department. Students can take such Fine Arts classes in theater, band, choir and art.

“Bye Bye Birdie” will features a cast of students, many of whom are enrolled in the school’s theater classes. Music students and members of the school band will perform as part of the musical’s orchestra.

“Our dedicated students and faculty put in countless hours every spring preparing for the annual spring musical,” Principal Dena Kinsey said. “The final production is as culmination of hard work and talent – all of which will be on display in abundance.”



Here are details about the St. Joseph Catholic School annual spring musical

THE MUSICAL: “Bye Bye Birdie,” the popular Broadway hit inspired by the media frenzy that occurred when Elvis was drafted in to the Army in 1957.

THE PERFORMANCES: Opening night is 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5; other performances are 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.

THE TICKETS: Admission is $10; St. Joe students are free. You can buy tickets the day of the performance at the Fine Arts theater or anytime online at

THE THEATER: “Bye Bye Birdie” will be performed in the St. Joseph Catholic School Fine Arts theater, 308 New Mannsdale Road in Madison.