UD Police superintendent, Michael Chitwood teams up with UD Summer Stage to promote upcoming production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”


For Immediate Release

Dan Luner

610.945.8428 • dluner13@gmail.com

Upper Darby’s “Top Cop” makes cameo appearance while emphasizing the importance of arts education.

July 6, 2016 – Drexel Hill, PA. When asked for assistance with a promotional video for Upper Darby Summer Stage’s upcoming production of “Bye Bye Birdie – Young Performer’s Edition,”police superintendent, Michael Chitwood along with sergeant Lewis and officers Wheatley and Colella responded with the 10-4. That’s police lingo for message understood! And the quartet ultimately provided that assistance as they made a cameo appearance in the video for the show while also commending the good work of the summer theatre program that has been going strong for 41 seasons.

Cast members of Upper Darby Summer Stage's "Bye Bye Birdie - Young Performer's Edition" take a quick break for a posed moment during their video shoot with Upper Darby Police superintendent, Michael Chitwood. // Photo By: Will McKeown
Cast members of Upper Darby Summer Stage’s “Bye Bye Birdie – Young Performer’s Edition” take a quick break for a posed moment during their video shoot with Upper Darby Police superintendent, Michael Chitwood. // Photo By: Will McKeown

The video, which can be viewed on YouTube, features the song, “Honestly Sincere” with Upper Darby’s top cop front-and-center with Conrad Birdie (Nick Vecchione of Springfield).

When asked to comment on the value of arts education through programs like Summer Stage, Chitwood said, “Students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, demonstrate improved academic performance and lower dropout rates.”

Also commenting on Summer Stage’s correlation to Upper Darby Township’s “bad rap,” he added, “While we are not immune to crimes of various nature, Summer Stage is one of the many exciting things happening in Upper Darby and it demonstrates the richness of our community, our dedication to the arts and the positive outcomes that results from this type of program.”

Chitwood concluded, “We want people in the Philadelphia region to know all about Summer Stage happening right here, in Upper Darby – Spread the word!”

Serving Upper Darby Township since 2005, Chitwood has often advocated for the arts through various initiatives including The Dennis McNamara Scholarship. The scholarship is given annually to a graduating Upper Darby High School student that is considered hardworking, community-oriented and plans to further their education in music or the arts.

“Bye Bye Birdie” tells the hilarious story of a teen idol based on Elvis. Conrad Birdie is about to be sent off into the army and his agent, Albert Peterson comes up with a publicity stunt for a small-town girl, Kim McAfee to have one last kiss with Conrad before he heads off to war – and the fans go wild! For children this show is a wonderful introduction to the fun of the 1950s and is a trip down memory lane for parents and grandparents!

“Bye Bye Birdie – Young Performer’s Edition” runs July 13-15 with performances at 10:30 a.m. each morning and an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. on July 14. Tickets are affordably priced at $7-11 and can be purchased online at www.udpac.org or by calling the box office: 610.622.1189. The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is located in Drexel Hill at 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue and the show is approximately 60 minutes with no intermission.

For 41 seasons Upper Darby Summer Stage has been empowering young people and entertaining families throughout the Philadelphia region. A two-time consecutive winner of the Main Line Parent’s “Best Children Theatre” Love Award, the program is also a five-time consecutive MyFoxPhilly HotList winner in the “Best Theatre” category.

The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center and Upper Darby Summer Stage are jointly sponsored by Upper Darby Township Mayor and Council and the Upper Darby School District Board of School Directors through the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services.


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