BYE, BYE LOVE
THE MUSICAL

Back in 1998 a special Musical about the Life and Times of The Everly Brothers was performed for a whole season at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Below we've collected some reviews and pictures of that particular event. Hope you'll enjoy it !

MUSICAL PHOTO GALLERY


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A PERSONAL RECOLLECTION

by Martin Alberts

One of the nicest cities we've ever visited is Nashville. And if there is an Everly musical going on, there is an extra reason to spend some time there. The musical 'Bye Bye Love' is located in the world famous Ryman AUditorium, the theater where almost every great artist started his career. And now it's possible to see and hear what happened to Don and Phil during the first years as The Everly Brothers....

Before the musical starts, some members of the musical will surprise you in a typical, very American, way. We The Rymanwon't tell you more about it, you will have to find out yourself. And then the musical begins..... We do not believe we are able to keep enough distance to give you a 100% objective opinion. Maybe we have been Everly fans for too long? But what we saw and heard is unforgettable. Very young Everly's, a few years older Everly's, Ike and Margaret Everly, Mable (from 'Up In Mable's Room') and other members of the family. You will meet them as good as you know your own family. And that's the power of this musical, making you a part of The Everly Family....

The voices of the young Don and Phil, played by Ryan Scott and Nathan Chowning and the older Don and Phil, played by Jeff Boyet and Matt Newton are very good. Unforgettable is Christopher Strand, who is the reincarnation of Ike Everly. Touching is what Janet Clowes-Johnson did as the mother of The Everly Brothers, Margaret.... All the members of this musical, the musicians included, will treat you on a high class musical in a romantic theater. IT IS A MUST!

By the way, the Ryman sells a lot of interesting Everly musical souvenirs.

Marja and Martin Alberts from Holland


OFFICIAL REVIEW

VENUE : Cactus Theatre, Lubbock TX (March 22nd)
SOURCE : Avalanche-Journal

EVERLY BROTHERS MUSICAL UNEVEN, BUT ENTERTAINING

One can bandy about the words world premiere, but the fact of the matter is that writer-director Ted Swindley's new play "Bye Bye Love: The Everly Brothers Musical" is being previewed and fine-tuned for three weekends in Lubbock before opening a six-month run at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. That doesn't mean it's not a coup for Lubbock; it is. Nor is this procedure out of the ordinary. "The Lion King," for example, was fine-tuned in Minneapolis, far away from the eyes of Manhattan critics before opening to raves on Broadway.

The bottom line is that the "Bye Bye Love" being debuted at the Cactus Theater this weekend could (and should) experience a few changes before it sees the light of day in Music City. Even as a work in progress - and there are some cornball scenes that deserve slashing, especially that "music is like a river" analogy and the audience participation - "Bye Bye Love" works as a loving ode to the contributions of the Kentucky-born and Iowa-raised Everlys.

Swindley's popular musical biography "Always ...Patsy Cline" struck me as more concert than legitimate theater; to his credit, he includes just as many unforgettable songs in "Bye Bye Love" but with much more emotional depth. The success of "Cline" depends solely on who has the tragic, demanding title role. But as we follow Don and Phil Everly's rise to fame, their songs unleashing a ton of memories, Swindley also juxtaposes the brothers' roots with the personal effect all those songs had on fans who followed them through more than two decades.

It's a nifty approach, although more consistency is shown in the second act than the first. True, Swindley has penned some truly awful dialogue and he falls back on the crutch of using not action, but rather monologues akin to classroom lectures, to inform the audience about the duo's chronological career high points. But the play also boasts a number of inspired scenes that find fringe characters and featured songs actually strengthened by one another. Mind you, no critic will be blind to the fact that many theatergoers won't give a flip about plot structure or character progression; two hours of Everly Brothers hits should be enough to assure standing ovations.

And early kudos also go out to keyboardist Tim Hayden, guitarists Stephen Larios and K.K. Stowe, drummer Steve Meador and bass guitarist Mark Paden for sterling accompaniment. Also working as a history lesson, Swindley introduces Don and Phil as children performing with, but later surpassing, their parents. Nashville wasn't quick to accept the Everlys' sound but, supplied with excellent material, the duo hit it big and both British and American record-buying teen-agers took notice. The set at the Cactus appears minimalist only until the play begins. Good use is made of elevated sets near the wings, and action taking place above the band on a catwalk behind a transparent scrim is, with one notably silly exception, also effective. (A bit of horribly choreographed nonsense actually cheapens a song being sung at the time; trust me, you'll recognize the scene when it arrives.) But a memory of family taking form during a discussion or, for that matter, depictions of the family's coal-mining roots, pay dividends. And when supporting actors take on the roles of characters in songs, the humor quotient often shoots way up.

Casting calls were held in several cities, and Tennessee-based performers Jeff D. Boyet and Matt S. Newton share a charisma as the adult Don and Phil Everly. Boyet is the stronger vocalist and more adept actor, but the two harmonize well and, together, make the songs work. The play's supporting cast is incredibly strong. Miles E. Aubrey, a bit of a Kyle McLachlan look-alike, excels during his comic bits. He earns laughs with a virtual plethora of supporting characters; watch his geek dancing at the prom or trying to "Wake Up, Little Suzy" and contrast them with his more serious parts. Swindley kindly gives both Misty D. Daniels and Janet Clowes-Johnson time to sing - it also kills time during the Everlys' costume changes - and both score points. Clowes-Johnson lets us see the Everlys through her eyes during a forgotten-by-some hippie era - note wardrobe, lava lamps and her timing - and Daniels is a hoot recalling a Teen Beat interview (of sorts) with the singing dreamboats.

Christopher J. Strand lends a strong presence to father Ike Everly, all the more impressive considering the cardboard construction of the role. West Texas natives William Boreing, 11, and Dustin Leroy Garrett, 10, show no fear and have a great time as the young Don and Phil, respectively.

Still, the musical wouldn't work if Boyet and Newton failed to recapture the excitement of "Cathy's Clown," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "I'll Do My Crying in the Rain," "When Will I Be Loved" and "Love Hurts," to name only a few. Swindley uses the songs as building blocks and the payoff is an emotional finale. Is "Bye Bye Love" great or even consistent theater? Not yet. Is it entertaining? You bet.

Audiences, especially Everly Brothers fans, won't be disappointed.

 

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