Imagine for a moment if Justin Bieber, overwhelmed with a sense of patriotism and duty, volunteered for a year of military service in Afghanistan. Before he leaves, his publicist and manager organize a farewell performance on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” where the teen idol performs a new song and gives one lucky girl a goodbye kiss.
Now, think about the girl — does she want to be kissed? What do her parents think? How does her boyfriend feel about her necking with a celebrity?
Take that plotline back to 1960 and you get “Bye Bye Birdie” — the Tony-award winning musical about a teen idol, a lá Elvis Presley, who’s drafted into the army, and the girl who gets his last smooch.
Songs like “Put on a Happy Face,” “The Telephone Hour” and “Spanish Rose” will leave everyone humming at this family-friendly production, running at the Hale Centre Theatre Fridays and Saturdays through August 25.
DETAILS >> 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 20 and 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21; runs through Aug. 25. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. $24 for adults, $10 for children 6-18. (480) 497-1181 or www.haletheatrearizona.com.
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