Tag Archives: Bye Bye Birdie

Retro Rumson Summer: The Barn Theater

Clip of press photo for The Barn Theater's production of "The Fantasticks" in the summer of 1977
Clip of press photo for The Barn Theater’s production of “The Fantasticks” in the summer of 1977
"Bye Bye Birdie" at The Barn Theater in Rumson circa summer of 1977 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
“Bye Bye Birdie” at The Barn Theater in Rumson circa summer of 1977
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

The following piece was originally posted on July 8, 2015. As we dive into summer season, we thought it only fitting to remember good summer times outside of the usual beach romp for those who grew up and raised their families in the Rumson-Fair Haven area — summer theater. Once upon a time, there was a special little place in Rumson … Take a trip back with us to  simple summers and magical, theatrical times … 

Remember The Barn Theater in Rumson?

Well, if you don’t, you missed out and are probably significantly younger than those who do and didn’t — miss out, that is.

It’s a plus if you’re that young. But, it’s definitely a factor in the minus category if you didn’t work, play or get entertained there.

It was a community theater that cast hundreds, maybe thousands, from the area, including many Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) students.

The building is still there, only a few blocks away from the high school on Avenue of Two Rivers near the intersection at Ridge Road. The reason why it was called The Barn was, well, because it was an old barn, gutted (if there is such a thing with a barn) and converted into a small arena-type stage theater, with the stage at floor level and risers around it as seats, though not all the way around.

You get the picture. Now, here’s what’s behind the place’s show folk and shows …

Continue reading Retro Rumson Summer: The Barn Theater

A Rumson Barn Theatre Show Biz Buds Reunion

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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

 

Retro Rumson Barn Theatre Buds

Elaine Van Develde, Alisa Roblenski and Elaine Kraft — Barn Theatre buddies rehearsing Bye Bye Birdie in 1977. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Elaine Van Develde, Alisa Roblenski and Elaine Kraft — Barn Theatre buddies rehearsing Bye Bye Birdie in 1977.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Coincidence? Sort of. It just so happens that it is summer. It is just so happens that Bye Bye Birdie has been running on the Decades channel on TV. And it just so happens that it’s now been 39 years (WHAT??) since summer theater at The Barn Theatre in Rumson was in full swing and in rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie.

Continue reading Retro Rumson Barn Theatre Buds

Retro Rumson Barn Summer Showtime

Summer is in full swing. School’s out and kids are embarking on summer activities.

Back in the 1970s, teens were actually singing about it … in summer theater at The Barn Theatre in Rumson.

The Barn, run by the gravely-voiced veteran dancer and theater lady with, yes, cats, and an eccentric flair like none other, Lois McDonald, was a home away from home for many RFHers who had some talent and the energy to rehearse and bond in the mix.

The times were memorable ones with many who turned out to be lifetime friends. And, the theatrical training was irreplaceable. A lot of talent came out of the little theater on Avenue of Two Rivers that aptly used to be a barn.

One summer, in particular, in the late 1970s, many RFHers and teens from surrounding high schools were cast in Bye Bye Birdie.

So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day honors Lois McDonald’s Barn and the summer memories made with two photos of the cast of Birdie.

It certainly was great to be able to sing “Kids! I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!” at 17! Recognize anyone in these photos?

Going Retro with Rumson’s Barn Theater

A production of Bye Bye Birdie at The Barn Theater, Rumson, circa 1977.  Photo/Sally Van Develde
A production of Bye Bye Birdie at The Barn Theater, Rumson, circa 1977.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day brings us back to shows at The Barn Theater, formerly on Avenue of Two Rivers in Rumson,  in the late 1970s.

Pictured are a bunch of area high school students, from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional and other area high schools, performing a scene in Bye Bye Birdie.

It’s a bit blurry, due to the lack of focus, and perhaps unsteady hand, on the instamatic camera with the rotating flash cube, but it was one of many moments at the popular theater.

Do you know anyone in this picture? Check it out.