Bye Bye Birdie is a satire that takes place in 1958 and centers around an Elvis Presley type rock and roll superstar (Conrad Birdie) who is drafted into the army. His agent and song writer (Albert Peterson) and Albert’s secretary and love interest (Rosie Alvarez) plan a farewell performance for Birdie on the Ed Sullivan television show, which they hope will provide the publicity to sell his new song “One Last Kiss” and bring Albert’s company out of debt. At the conclusion of the performance, Birdie will give a real kiss to a lucky girl from his fan club.
The lucky girl, randomly chosen, is Kim MacAfee from Sweet Apple, Ohio, and is a avid member of the local Conrad Birdie fan club. Albert and Rosie come to Sweet Apple to prepare for Birdie’s arrival and things begin to unravel. Kim’s father (Harry MacAfee) begins to get excited about the thought of being on the Ed Sullivan Show with his daughter and Kim’s new steady (Hugo Peabody) starts to get jealous of the thought of Kim kissing Birdie on national television.
After Birdie’s arrival in Sweet Apple, things continue to come undone as Birdie’s charms enrage Hugo to punch him out on national television as he embraces to kiss Kim. Later, Birdie confesses that he is tired of show business and goes out on the town with the kids to show them how to party. This leads to Birdie’s arrest. Meanwhile, Rosie is getting tired of waiting for Albert to propose and figures that eight years is long enough. She is also tired of Albert’s domineering mother (Mae Peterson) who is constantly interfering in their relationship. Rosie goes out on the
town and stumbles into a Shriner’s meeting, leading to a humorous ballet sequence.
The show ends with Albert bailing Birdie out of jail prompting Birdie to ask Albert to be his agent forever as he gets on the train to New York and his induction into the army. Kim and Hugo make up as Hugo proposes to Kim and Albert finally decides to propose to Rosie to tie up the remaining romantic knot before the show’s finale.