'Bye Bye Birdie' Restored: Ann-Margret & Bobby Rydell at Academy Screening

by Andre Soares
Bye Bye Birdie Ann Margret lobby card
Bobby Rydell, Ann-Margret, Bye Bye Birdie
Bye Bye Birdie lobby card (top); Bobby Rydell, Ann-Margret, Bye Bye Birdie (bottom)

A digitally restored print of George Sidney's 1963 Elvis Presley-inspired satirical musical Bye Bye Birdie, starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Bobby Rydell, Maureen Stapleton, Jesse Pearson, and an explosive Ann-Margret, will have its premiere on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. 

Hosted by film critic Stephen Farber, the evening will feature a Digital Cinema presentation with a newly restored 4-channel stereo soundtrack, followed by an onstage discussion with Ann-Margret (who would star with Presley in Viva Las Vegas! the following year) and Bobby Rydell.

Written by Irving Brecher from Michael Stewart's book and the ensuing Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie follows singing sensation Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson), who, after being drafted, is scheduled to perform a composition by songwriter Albert Peterson (Dick Van Dyke) in a farewell performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Janet Leigh plays Peterson's girlfriend.

The rock 'n' roll star is also scheduled to give a goodbye kiss to a lucky young woman (Ann-Margret) from a small Ohio town - much to the dismay of both her boyfriend (Bobby Rydell) and her parents (Paul Lynde – a curious choice for a Midwestern patriarch – and Mary LaRoche).

For updates on special guests, visit www.oscars.org.

Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh, Bye Bye Birdie

Note: Tickets for Bye Bye Birdie (above, Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh) are sold out. A standby line will form on the day of the event, and standby numbers will be assigned starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. Any available tickets will be distributed shortly before the program begins.

Ticketholders should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the event to ensure a seat in the theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Photos: Courtesy of AMPAS. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Ann-Margret, Bobby Rydell, Bye Bye Birdie
Bobby Rydell, Ann-Margret, Bye Bye Birdie

Ann-Margret was a sensation at the 1962 Academy Awards ceremony while performing the nominated song “Bachelor in Paradise.” The following year, she became a star with the release of George Sidney's musical Bye Bye Birdie. Looking at the picture above (click on the photo to enlarge it), it's easy to see why. Perhaps there have been more skilled and more suave movie dancers, but none has been more energetic than the Swedish-born Ann-Margret.

A digitally restored print of Bye Bye Birdie, which also features Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Bobby Rydell, Maureen Stapleton, and Jesse Pearson, will have its world premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Hosted by film critic Stephen Farber, the Bye Bye Birdie evening will feature a Digital Cinema presentation with a newly restored 4-channel stereo soundtrack. Following the screening, Ann-Margret and Bobby Rydell will take part in an onstage discussion.

Photo: Courtesy of AMPAS.

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1 comment

Danny -

BYE BYE BIRDIE is a lot of fun. Bobby Rydell should have done more films. The jitterbug with Ann-Margret is enjoyable. I hope they reprise this number at the screening. Please include some current pictures when you report on this later.

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