Shakespeare, ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to hit Marietta stages

MARIETTA — The Pioneer Summer Theatre at Marietta College will present “Romeo and Juliet” and “Bye Bye Birdie” in June and July.

Nine shows will be presented of the two productions – five of “Romeo and Juliet” and four of “Bye Bye Birdie” – starting with “Romeo and Juliet” at 8:30 p.m. June 27 at the gazebo in Muskingum Park on Front Street in Marietta. “Bye Bye Birdie” opens the following night at 8 p.m. June 28 at Peoples Bank Theatre, 222 Putnam St.

This version of William Shakespeare’s classic love story of “Romeo and Juliet” will be reimagined for the Mid-Ohio Valley and set in 1861 in the fictional Ohio River town of Verona where the Montagues and the Capulets live. The tension between the Union Montagues and the Confederate Capulets boil over as the nation enters the Civil War.

All performances of “Romeo and Juliet” are free and start at 8:30 p.m. at the gazebo. “Romeo and Juliet” will be presented June 29 and 30, July 3 and 7.

The first performances coincide with the opening weekend of the 2019 Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, June 28-30 at Marietta College.

“Bye Bye Birdie” is about how the jealous Hugo copes with his girlfriend Kim, who as president of the Conrad Birdie fan club wins one last kiss from the teen heart throb before he’s drafted. In the meantime, the chemist and struggling songwriter Albert wants Birdie to sing his song on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” all the while balancing the matrimonial desires of his girlfriend with the needs of his mother.

Songs in the show include “Put on a Happy Face,” “Kids” and “One Last Kiss.”

“Bye Bye Birdie” also will be performed 2 p.m. June 29 and 8 p.m. July 5 and 6. Tickets are for $15, $20 and $25 at peoplesbanktheatre.com.

The Pioneer Summer Theater is made up of residents, college theater artists from across the country and professional directors and designers.


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