NBC to Stage ‘Bye Bye, Birdie’ Live With Jennifer Lopez

NBC to Stage ‘Bye Bye, Birdie’ Live With Jennifer Lopez

By Amanda Joyce Oct 28, 2016 09:47 AM
Photo Credit: NBC Universal Television

The network hasn’t yet aired their live adaptation of Hairspray, but NBC has already announced what their next live musical will be. In 2017, they plan to bring Bye Bye, Birdie to the small screen with Jennifer Lopez as one of the stars.

The live presentation, which will include teleplay by Harvey Fierstein, will be based on the 1960 stage show rather than the 1963 film. Fierstein also adapted The Wiz and Hairspray for NBC and is set to star as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, a role he played on Broadway.

Set in the 1950s, the original story was inspired by Elvis Presley joining the army in 1957. For the stage show and movie, Conrad Birdie was a (fictional) rock ‘n roll artist that teens couldn’t get enough of, but when he joined the army, his agent decided to give one winner his “last kiss” before shipping out.

Columbia Pictures

Lopez actually performs one of the songs from the soundtrack in her Vegas show, and she was the one who approached the NBC team about appearing in the musical. She’ll play the role of Rosie, girlfriend of Birdie’s agent, a role originated by Chita Rivera on stage. Rivera won a Tony for her work. Lopez will also executive produce.

This only adds to Lopez’s relationship with NBC. She also stars and produces Shades of Blue, which returns to the network in 2017 for a second season. The performer is also slated to appear as a judge and executive produce NBC’s upcoming reality series World of Dance.

Bye Bye, Birdie marks NBC’s fifth live musical. It joins The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray. Hairspray will debut as part of the network’s holiday programming this December. Bye Bye, Birdie will do the same in 2017.

 
Tags: Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Jennifer Lopez, Harvey Fierstein
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Having graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2008, Amanda opted not to pursue a scientific field, but freelance writing instead. A bit of a pop culture junkie, ...
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By Amanda Joyce | October 28, 2016 at 9:47 am
The network hasn’t yet aired their live adaptation of Hairspray, but NBC has already announced what their next live musical will be. In 2017, they plan to bring Bye Bye, Birdie to the small...Read More