Mountain View Voice

News - March 22, 2013

'Bye Bye Birdie' at Graham Middle School

by Nick Veronin

A group of young singers and actors from Graham Middle School are rehearsing for an upcoming production of "Bye Bye Birdie," scheduled to play for three nights next week.

The classic American musical will be performed by a cast and crew of 50 Graham students beginning on Thursday, March 28, and running through Saturday, March 30.

"It's pretty exciting to be in our tenth year," said Jennifer Gaderlund, who is co-directing the show with Nicholas Patton.

] Gaderlund, the middle school's vocal music teacher, started the spring musical tradition at Graham and has worked hard over the last decade to build it up.

Recalling the first musical she produced at Graham — also "Bye Bye Birdie" — Gaderlund remembers how limited it was. She had to borrow costumes, sets and props, and there was no sound system. Since 2003, through fundraisers, ticket sales and bake sales which are held at every musical production, Gaderlund has been able to purchase a respectable sound system and the school now has many of its own costumes, props and set backdrops. She was even able to hire musicians to play all of the numbers in this year's production.

"We wanted to be able to do ("Bye Bye Birdie") again with lights and sound," Gaderlund said of choosing to revisit the musical — "do it right this time."

The young actors and singers have been rehearsing the show since January, and Gaderlund is certain the production will be great. "They always exceed my expectations every year," she said of her student actors, "and every year it always surprises me anew."

Tickets for the show — $10 for adults and $7 for youth and seniors — can be purchased in the school office at 1175 Castro St., or at the school's website, graham.mvwsd.org. The shows always sell out according Gaderlund, so buying tickets in advance is recommended. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. all three nights. There is no matinee.

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