Once upon a time, 39 summers ago, in a little red building that looked like a barn and acted like a theater, a bunch of high school kids were brought together, united in a common mission to “go on with the show” Bye Bye Birdie.
The place was The Barn Theatre. The building is still there — near the corner of Ridge Road and Avenue of Two Rivers. The cast of Birdie was comprised of a gaggle of theater-loving teens who didn’t recoil, but, rather, relished long rehearsals on summer nights.
There were high schoolers from Rumson-Fair Haven and the surrounding area. They auditioned, got cast and got down to the businesses of putting on a show and getting to know one another very quickly — as the usual route of show biz goes.
They acted, sang, danced and rollicked their way to what turned out to be a lifetime bonding experience.
Birdie was a hit back in 1977 at The Barn. The bonding experience proved to be an unbreakable one.
The teens ended up going their separate ways to college and theater paths of their own, or not.
But, they never forgot that summer of 1977. And, a few weeks ago, two cast members reunited after 35 years (they had seen each other four years after the show). The two were Connie Cairo (then Cairo) and Alisa Roblenski. Connie played Birdie-obsessed lead teen Kim MacAfee and Roblenski was a Birdie loving teen.
The two, who this Birdie mayor’s wife, Edna, recently reconnected with on Facebook, shared their reunion with us. Take a look.
This is why these two can honestly say, “We love you, Barn Theatre, oh yes we do!” and there’s really “no business like show business!”
To quote, loosely, a song from Birdie, “One bond, one special bond … one bond to grow with …” Sniff, sniff, smile.
This Barn reunion theme is catching! Curtain up! Heads up! Stay tuned for another!
— Elaine Van Develde