Jennifer Lopez to Headline Bye Bye Birdie Live!
Jennifer Lopez will join forces with NBC for Bye Bye Birdie Live!, a 2017 holiday production of the classic Broadway musical. Tony winner Harvey Fierstein will pen the teleplay adaptation for the broadcast; he also wrote and will co-star in Hairspray Live! for the peacock network on December 7.
“Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood and Bye Bye Birdie was one of my favorites,” said Lopez in a statement. “I’m proud to be a part of the NBC family with Shades of Blue and I thought it would be a blast to take on one of their big live musicals.”
Bye Bye Birdie Live! will be based on the 1960 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that starred Dick Van Dyke as Albert Peterson (earning Van Dyke a Tony) and Chita Rivera as Rosie (earning Rivera a Tony nomination). The book was by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse. Van Dyke went on to star in a 1963 movie adaptation of the show alongside Janet Leigh.
Set at the height of rock ’n’ roll, Bye Bye Birdie takes us to Sweet Apple, Ohio, where hip-thrusting music heartthrob Conrad Birdie is scheduled to give a lucky Sweet Apple lady “One Last Kiss” before being drafted into the Army. Conrad’s rock ’n’ roll ways send the small town reeling, giving the teens Birdie fever, shocking the parents with moral indignation, and placing songwriter/agent Albert Peterson along with his savvy sweetheart, Rosie, right in the thick of things. The story was inspired by the incredible popularity of Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957.
Lopez will star as Rosie and executive produce with her producing partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina alongside Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Her film credits include Maid in Manhattan, Monster-in-Law, Anaconda, The Cell, Antz, The Boy Next Door, Selena and Out of Sight. Her music achievements include winning three AMA’s, three ASCAP Pop Music Awards, eight Billboard Latin Music Awards and two VMA’s and she has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. She has had 16 top-10 hit songs and three number one albums.