In this section you will be able to find informations about Jeff's past and present theater projects, I've also included a very well written personal review of "Bye, Bye Birdie" from earlier this year, the review is written by a fan from Ohio, who was fortunate enough to see Jeff in the play, to read more reviews please see the What people say page., you can also see what awards Jeff has won for some of his roles on the Awards page So enjoy this, and thank you Lynn, for this wonderful review.
"I get what may be my greatest fulfillment from performing live. That's when I get to use my talent" (Jeff Trachta, Soap Opera Magazine, Novemebr 27. 1997)
This is a list of some of the plays Jeff Trachta has starred in since his debut in 1981.
When Jeff was studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasedena, he made his debut, and from that play he was discovered by an agent.
Regional Theatre before 1990
1981: "Grease" (Danny Zuko) LA
198?: "Media Messiah"
198?: "Bleacher Bums"
Theatre from 1990 -
Dec. 12. - Dec 30. 1990: "Cinderella" (Prince Charming), Pantages Theatre in LA, with Bobbie Eakes
July 1991: "Love Letters" (Andy), West Coast Production, with Bobbie Eakes
1991: "Little Shop of Horrors" (mad dentist), Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre
1994: "Agency" (one-man show, portraying more than 2 dozen characters), Coast Playhouse, West Hollywood. Reviews here
January 2nd - April 7th 1996: "Grease" (Danny Zuko), Broadway, Eugene O'Neill Theatre. NY. Tommy Tune & Barry Weissler production.
November - December 1997: "Three Guys Naked From The Waist & Down" (Kenny Brewster), Tamarind Theatre, LA. Reviews here
July 8th - July 19th 1998:"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Joseph), Art Park, Lewiston, New York.
"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
May 11th - May 23rd 1999: "Bye, Bye Birdie" (Conrad Birdie), Cleveland, Ohio. Reviews here
"Bye, Bye Birdie"
June 15th - June 25th 1999: "Bye, Bye Birdie" (Conrad Birdie), Pittsburgh, Pennesylvania. Reviews here
August 1999: "Cinderella" (Prince Charming), Frauenthal Theatre, Cherry County Playhouse, Muskegon, MI
"BYE, BYE, BIRDIE"
Review of "Bye Bye Birdie" (BY LYNN)
The crowd quiets down as the orchestra begins to play the opening music..Around twenty girls run out on stage and start singing. They hold up a big picture of Jeff, which has been cut into nine pieces. The girls leave the stage and Rose and Albert come out. The time is 1959 and Rose and Albert are in the office of Almaelou Music in New York. Albert announces that Conrad Birdie had been drafted into the army. Rose tells Albert that she is leaving since he had not asked her to marry him yet. They perform a song about how Albert could have been an English teacher. Albert promises Rose that he will marry her and become an English teacher after he gets Conrad to do one last performance so no one will forget him while he is in the army. Rose tells him the write a song called "One Last Kiss." As Albert gets to work on the song, Rose tries to get through to Sweet Apple, Ohio, but all the phone lines are busy. Albert wants to know what is going on. Rose tells Albert that they will pick one of Conrad's fans and that fan will get a kiss form him on TV after he sings the song. They finish the scene and leave the stage.Around fifty kids come out on stage and perform a song. The kids of Sweet Apple are tying up the lines because Kim MacAfee just got pinned but Hugo Peabody. Finally Rose gets through to Kim and informs her that she has been picked to receive a kiss from Conrad Birdie before he goes into the army.The scenery is set up to look like a train station. The whole town of Sweet Apple is there to see Conrad. One girl is very unhappy that Conrad is going into the army and Albert comes out on stage to cheer her up by singing "Put On A Happy Face." Albert cheers her up just in time. Rose comes out and meets up with Albert's mother, Mae (played by the fabulous Rue McClanahan). Of course, Albert takes his mother's side and doesn't tell her that he wantsto drop the music business. A girl comes out on stage screaming that Conrad Birdie is coming. All the girls scream and Jeff walks out on stage. He's in black jeans, a shiny top and a black jacket that has a row of sequins on each sleeve. The reporters ask Conrad questions. Unfortunately, Conrad doesn't get a chance to answer any of them, since Albert and Rose keep cutting him off. They perform a song and the group heads to the town court house. Kim and a couple of girls stay behind as does Kim's boyfriend Hugo. She reassures him that she loves only him, sings "One Boy" and heads for the court house. Hugo talks to Rose, who has a nasty idea and wants to stop the kiss from happening so she can get back at Albert.Everyone gathers at the court house. The mayor presents Conrad with a key to the city. Conrad takes the microphone and starts to sing, moving his hipsform side to side. The mayor's wife faints and the crowd laughs. Conrad goes into the song "Honestly Sincere." Everyone on stage gets into it and by the time the song is over everyone has fainted.The next day we see the MacAfee family in their home complaining about Conrad, Rose and Albert. Conrad comes down the stairs in black biker boots and a leopard print robe. He opens a can of beer or soda (I couldn't tell from where I was) which sprays all over the stage, drinks it down, hands the can to Mrs. MacAfee and tells the family to call him down for lunch and goes back upstairs. On his way he calls Mr. MacAfee "fats." Albert cheers the family up by telling them that they are going to be on the Ed Sullivan show. They go into a song praising Ed Sullivan which gets the crowd laughing again.
In the next scene, everyone is at the television studio. Conrad comes out in an army outfit that has gold and green sequins on it. He starts to sing "One Last Kiss." The MacAfee family keeps cutting in, especially the father, which cracks everyone up. The song ends and Conrad tells Kim to brace herself for the kiss just as Rose brings Hugo out on stage. Hugo intervenes, yells at Conrad and punches him out on live TV. The audience gasps. Kim screams at Hugo and Rose yells at Albert while Conrad is still out cold. To save themselves, Albert starts a song as the people of Sweet Apple help Conrad up, who is still feeling the effects of Hugo's punch. When the song is done, the lights come on and there is a short intermission.
Act Two begins in the MacAfee home where Rose and Kim are singing about how they were fools to be in love with Albert and Hugo. Rose decides to leave and Kim decides to follow her. Downstairs, Conrad is telling Albert that he is fine while he keeps an ice pack on the left side of his face. Albert tells his mother to take Conrad upstairs. As they leave Rose comes out and tells Albert that she is leaving. Albert tells her to go, while his mother listens from the stairs. When Rose leaves, Albert realizes he made a mistake and starts to go after her only to be stopped by Mae. They get into an argument and Mae (who is playing her guilt trip) tells him to go find Rose, then to come back and pull her head out of the oven. Albert tells her he is sorry as Conrad comes downstairs. He's dressed in black jeans, a white T-shirt and a black leather jacket. Quite a few whistles ring out from the crowd. Conrad tells Albert that he's going out. He says he is tense. Albert tells his mother to do something. Mae asks Conrad if he has ever considered being with an older woman and starts to come on to him. The audience is laughing as Conrad just stared at Mae. He finally turns to the crowd and says he hopes that he never gets that tense, which really gets the audience going. Albert tells him to stay put and leaves with his mother. Conrad gets a can of beer from the refrigerator and starts to sing "I Got A Lot Of Living To Do." As he leaves Kim comes down and finishes the song and takes off after Conrad. Outside Conrad and Kim discuss where to go and have some fun. Kin suggests the Ice House, which happens to be the make out place for the kids of Sweet Apple. The audience groans, knowing that something bad is going to happen. The kids of Sweet Apple come out on stage and they finish the song with Kim and Conrad. Back at the MacAfee house, the family discovers that Kim and Conrad are together and go into a song about how kids are so different now than they were when they were kids. The family goes off to find Kim and Conrad.
In another part of town, Rose is at a bar dancing and singing when Albert calls. He sings her a romantic song over the phone, but Rose doesn't fall for it. She goes in the back of the bar, where a group of Shriner's are holding their meeting. Rose distracts them and they go into this crazy dance. The crowd is whistling and laughing. Rose realizes she had gotten more than she bargained for and manages to get away. She goes out the back and meets up with Hugo. He asks her to go in the bar and get him some alcohol, but Rose refuses. The shriner's come out, see Rose and grab her, carrying her off stage.
Albert is looking for Rose with his mother and finally tells her he is giving up the music business. Mae can't believe it and starts to pull another guilt trip, but Albert doesn't fall for it and tells his mother to leave him alone.Out in front of the MacAfee house, all the parents of the Sweet Apple kids gather together. They can't find the kids. Hugo shows up drunk (on milk). They finish their song about kids as Rose comes on stage. Albert sees her and and tells her he is sorry. Rose accepts the apology and lets it slip that Kim and Conrad are at the Ice House. Mr. MacAfee almost faints and they head for the Ice House. The audience goes crazy, knowing that Kim and Conrad are in big trouble. At the Ice House, Conrad lights a cigarette, take a hit and hands it to Kim. She takes a hit and starts to cough. Conrad gives her a sensuous look. Kim tries to make small talk as Conrad moves in for a kiss. Kim avoids him and stands up, moving away from Conrad. He sits on the steps of the Ice House and Kim hands the cigarette back to him. She continues to talk about everything and anything as Conrad takes another hit off the cigarette. He stand up, drops the cigarette and steps on it, putting it out. He moves over to Kim and tries to kiss her again. Kim moves away but Conrad follows. He finally catches Kim, but the some of Kim's friends come in. They grab Conrad and tell him that they are going to run away and live wild and free. Conrad tells them to rethink it. They say no and sing "I Got A Lot Of Living To Do" again as a couple of the girls pull Conrad down on the stage and hover over him.
Suddenly, the parents of Sweet Apple come in. Mr. MacAfee tells the police that are with him to arrest Conrad. Kim runs to her father and tell him what happened. Mr. MacAfee asks Conrad what he has to say now and Conrad responds 'Thank God you're here.' The audience is laughing up a storm by now. The parents take their kids home as the cops haul Conrad off to jail. Albert tells Rose to meet him tomorrow so they can get married. She agrees and Albert runs after Conrad. Rose is thrilled that she is finally going to be Mrs. Albert Peterson, but her happiness is short lived. Mae comes out and the start to argue. They do a song, each one stating that Albert belongs to her. As the song ends, Mae gives up and leaves.
The next day Albert is at the train station. He checks to make sure no one is around and tells Conrad that the coast is clear. Conrad comes out in disguise. The crowd looses it. Conrad comes out in his biker boots, a big black hat with a veil, a black trench coat and blue dress. He's also carrying a black purse. Conrad tells Albert that he will stick with him after he comes out of the army. Mae comes out on stage. Conrad quickly pulls the veil back down over his face. Mae thinks that it's Rose. The people of Sweet Apple come to the train station looking for Conrad. Albert is able to get Conrad on the train, as well as his mother. Mrs. MacAfee tells the town that Hugo proposed to Kim and she accepted. Everyone is happy and leave the station, forgetting all about Conrad. As the train starts to leave, Conrad and Mae yell for Albert to get on the train, but Albert just stands there and waves good bye. Rose comes out with the suitcases and discovers that Albert made sure they missed the train so they could get married in Sweet Apple. Albert sings a song for Rose and the show ends with them kissing in the shadow of a moon.
The audience claps and doesn't stop. The curtain is raised as the cast comes back out. When Jeff appears (he's back in the outfit he had on when he first came out on the stage) the crowd claps louder and whistles. Jeff and Rue McClanahan get the most applause. The curtain comes down and the show is finally over.It was quite an experience. I never thought of Jeff playing Conrad Birdie, but now I can. It is definitely worth seeing.
©1999 Pernille Jorgensen