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Say Hello to 'Bye Bye Birdie'

Lexington Youth Summer Theatre brings Conrad Birdie and all the "Kids" to Cary Hall July 21 to 23.

The following is a press release from Lexington Youth Summer Theatre (LYST):

LYST's upcoming production of "Bye Bye Birdie" will be spreading sunshine all over town on July 21 to 23 at in Lexington.

Sporting a cast of 30 of the area’s most talented youth, LYST offers a light-hearted summer theatre experience that is pure fun. "Bye Bye Birdie" is a family-friendly, time-honored musical comedy about teen idols, young love, and what it’s like to raise kids in the 1950s.

With its universal themes and classic tunes like "Put on a Happy Face" and "Kids," "Bye Bye Birdie" offers something for everyone—from toddlers to grandparents.

A portion of the proceeds from LYST go to children’s charities selected by the cast; past charities include The Children’s Room, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Room to Read, and Heifer International. Since its founding in 1980, LYST has given more than $45,000 to charity.

This year, LYST hopes to raise more money than ever, thanks in part to the generous donation of an Ephiphone electric guitar signed by Tom Scholz, lead guitarist of the rock band Boston. Scholz, a well-known philanthropist dedicated to supporting children’s rights, was more than willing to donate the signed guitar to the LYST cause.

The guitar will be auctioned at Bye Bye Birdie during intermissions, as well as on Ebay. The auction begins this week.

In addition to this remarkable auction item, LYST has many other exciting changes to share, including the addition of its first-ever female director.

Becki Dennis, who choreographed LYST’s 2010 production of Grease, has assumed the role of both director and choreographer. Dennis has directed and choreographed many children’s theatre productions and is a locally well-known performer.

LYST’s new musical director Mark Mercer hails from Andover High School, where he revitalized that school district’s choral and musical theatre programs. And Lexington’s own Jennifer Wolfman (who was lighting designer for last year’s Grease) and Jacob Damsky (who played Danny in Grease) are assisting the directors in several capacities.

This dynamic new directing team brings a youthful energy to the production, which, according to Dennis, portrays “Bye Bye Birdie at its playful best.

"We’ve changed a few things to make the script family-friendly and current," she said. But overall, this is a classic representation—pure entertainment."

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at: lexingtonyouthsummertheatre.org or at , and in Lexington, or by calling Abbe Smerling at 781-888-4565.

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