Mitchell has joined as stage director and World of Dance helmer Rudzinski will serve as the telecast’s live television director.
Set at the early height of rock ’n’ roll, Bye Bye Birdie takes us to Sweet Apple, Ohio, where hip-thrusting 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 the popularity of Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957.
Mitchell, who choreographed NBC’s 2016 production of Hairspray Live!, is currently directing the Gloria Estefan bio-musical On Your Feet on Broadway. He earned his Tonys for the choreography of the 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots, for which he was also nominated as director, and the 2005 revival of La Cage Aux Folles.
Rudzinski is director and co-executive producer of NBC’s upcoming dance competition series World of Dance, with judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO, and host Jenna Dewan Tatum. Rudzinski, who was nominated for a DGA Award for his live television direction of Hairspray Live!, has won two Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Direction for a Variety Special for his work on Fox’s musical Grease Live! His other credits include directing 22 seasons of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
“It’s a joy to work with Jerry Mitchell and Alex Rudzinski again after their incredible partnership on Hairspray Live!, which elevated our live musicals to a new height,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Jerry is the cream of the crop of Broadway director/choreographers with two hits running on Broadway right now, and Alex is peerless in the world of live television direction.”
Harvey Fierstein will pen the teleplay adaptation for Bye Bye Birdie Live. Lopez will executive produce with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina alongside Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Rudzinski is also an executive producer and Mitchell a producer. Universal Television will produce with Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, Storyline and Sony Pictures Television.