Originally titled Let's Go Steady, the satire on American society is set in 1958. The name "Conrad Birdie" is a play on the name Conway Twitty, a popular singer at the time, and the character is also based on Elvis Presley, whose draft into the army shortly before the musical was written inspired a plot element. The original Broadway production was a Tony Award-winning success, and revivals followed. The show also became a popular choice for high school and college productions. It spawned a 1981 sequel, Bring Back Birdie, starring Chita Rivera.