Lopez is set to play Rosie, a role played by Chita Rivera in the original 1960 Broadway musical that starred Dick Van Dyke. The play was later adapted into a feature film with Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh as Rosie. Lopez is no stranger to the musical as she performs the song “Lots of Livin'” from the musical in her Las Vegas show.
“Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood and Bye Bye Birdie was one of my favorites,” Lopez said in a statement. “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.”
Set at the height of rock ‘n’ roll, Bye Bye Birdie takes place in Sweet Apple, Ohio, where 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 Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957. The book was written by Michael Stewart with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.
Lopez is set to executive produce the live musical with Nuyorican Productions’ Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and her manager, Benny Medina. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the minds behind The Wiz and the forthcoming Hairspray musical, will also executive produce. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote and stars in Hairspray, will adapt Bye Bye Birdie for the small screen.
The Shades of Blue star will serve as executive producer and judge on the upcoming reality dance competition World of Dance. She is also working with NBC for a new procedural, C.R.I.S.P.R..
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer