Bye Bye Birdie
BYU faculty member Harold I. Hansen had cloes ties to the United Service Organization (USO) and was instrumental in BYU participating in the 1968 tour. According to one of the participants, USO liked BYU's involvement because of the quality of people involved and the good, clean, fun shows BYU performed. Dr. Hansen organized tours overseas through the Theatre department.
Bye Bye Birdie
Bye Bye Birdie was the first musical BYU students performed for the USO. Out of 500 auditioning students, fifteen were cast in October 1967. Each group member had a unique talent or skill they contributed to the production, for example sewing the costumes. The group rehearsed through Christmas break and until they started performing around Utah in February 1968. In March the group left for Europe where they performed in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy for the military as part of the USO Tour. The group then took a three week “delay en route” for the LDS Church, performing throughout England and Scotland. Next the group had a few days of “time off” to visit Denmark and Sweden. They returned to the United States the first of June (and were in Washington D. C. the day that Robert Kennedy was assassinated). The group then performed for the church in Pennsylvania, Virginia and other Eastern states. In mid-June the group returned to Utah and performed for a few days at BYU in the Pardoe Theatre before disbanding. Such incredible experiences produced a remarkably close-knit group.
The Bye Bye Birdie cast included
- Linda S. Margetts (chorus)
- Ron Stevenson (Hugo Peabody)
- Judy Sealey Maxfield (Kim MacAfee)
- Gerald Pearson (chorus)
- Carol Barker Brown (chorus)
- Doug Stewart (Mr. MacAfee)
- Cheryl Pope Lewis (chorus)
- Terri Tanner Mitchell (chorus)
- Nick Tatu (Conrad Birdie)
- Pam Prince (chorus)
- Rebecca Oliver (Mrs. MacAfee)
- Lund Johnson (Albert Peterson)
- Tammy Fowler Adams and then Chris Smith Halliday (Rosie Alvarez) - Tammy in the states at the beginning, then Chris for the rest of the tour
- Janet Swenson (Mama Mae Peterson)
Three years later, USO once again recruited BYU. This time they performed Hello Dolly around Asia under the direction of Charles A. Henson. Church and local shows were also held in Asia. In addition to Hello Dolly, the cast also created a variety show that was performed when the audience wouldn't understand the English of the other production. This variety show included music and a curtain speech in the language of the particular country they were performing in. One of the most remarkable experiences of this group was during a performance at a university in the Philippines, where the cast was given an honor guard welcome.