NBC’s next live musical event will be Bye Bye Birdie Live! starring Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue). Lopez will also be involved as an executive producer on the production which has Harvey Fierstein attached to write the teleplay. Jennifer Lopez will take on the role of Rosie, played by Chita Rivera in the 1960 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.
NBC will air the musical during the 2017 holiday season. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers of all of NBC’s live musicals, are also on board Bye Bye Birdie Live!. Lopez’ producing partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medin are also confirmed as executive producers.
“Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood and Bye Bye Birdie was one of my favorites,” said Lopez. “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.”
“To have a superstar like Jennifer Lopez starring in this classic show, which every high school in America has done, will ensure that our holiday musicals continue to be must-see events for the whole family,” stated NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “It was her idea to take on this classic singing and dancing role made famous by the legendary Chita Rivera, and we are so happy to oblige! This show has delighted audiences for generations with classic songs that include ‘Put on a Happy Face’ and ‘A Lot of Livin’ to Do,’ and this will be an extravagant production built around this big star.”
The Plot: 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.