Patrick Cassidy and Andrea McArdle Sign on for HAMMERSTEIN IN HOLLYWOOD Benefit at Bucks County Playhouse
Bucks County Playhouse's Executive Producer Robyn Goodman, Producing Director Alexander Fraser and Producers Stephen Kocis and Joshua Fiedler announced additional casting for the Oscar Hammerstein Festival's Benefit concert, "Hammerstein in Hollywood," at Bucks County Playhouse on Saturday, April 22 at 8:00 pm.
Patrick Cassidy, son of Playhouse honoree Shirley Jones, is now scheduled to perform in the concert and accept honors on behalf of Jones, who due to a recent injury is unable to attend. Tony nominee Andrea McArdle ("Annie") has also joined the cast.
"Shirley Jones sadly cannot be with us due to a fracture," says Alexander Fraser. "She is recovering and will be back on her feet soon, but her doctor has advised her not to travel. We are thrilled that her son Patrick Cassidy can be with us to celebrate Oscar Hammerstein and Bucks County Playhouse, where his parents spent a fantastic summer of 1955. We also look forward to welcoming Andrea McArdle back to New Hope, where she last appeared on The Playhouse stage in 2014. While we are disappointed that Shirley cannot be with us, Patrick and Andrea are two enormously talented performers who certainly add extra star wattage to the already extraordinary cast assembled for this concert."
"Hammerstein in Hollywood" is the highlight of Bucks County Playhouse's Third Oscar Hammerstein Festival, April 22-23. The benefit concert cast also features Ashley Brown ("Mary Poppins"), Max von Essen ("An American in Paris"), Malcom Gets ("A New Brain") and Carmen Cusack ("Bright Star"). Ted Chapin, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, serves as host for the benefit event, which will be directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes ("Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella") with musical direction by David Dabbon ("Disaster").
Named in honor of the master writer Oscar Hammerstein II whose countless accomplishments during his illustrious career have included mentoring a young Stephen Sondheim at Hammerstein's Highland Farm in Bucks County - the Festival is a year-long program that offers expert mentorship to early career composers and lyricists.
Over the course of two days, The Oscar Hammerstein Festival features special events all devoted to musical theatre. The Playhouse offers Festival Passes for attendees to enjoy all events, and can be purchased online or at the box office. Single tickets may also be purchased for the "Hammerstein in Hollywood" benefit concert. Tickets for the Benefit Concert and Post-Show Reception are $150. Concert only tickets are $75 for orchestra and $45 for rear orchestra. A limited number of passes are also available. Passholders receive admission to all the weekend events.
Among the other programming scheduled for this year's festival is a workshop featuring excerpts from "The New World," an outrageously funny new musical that will debut at The Playhouse this fall. Composer Gary Adler ("Altar Boyz") and lyricist Phoebe Kreutz ("Awesomer & Awesomer") will take Festival pass holders into the evolution of their new musical and chat about some of the changes as they ready the musical for production at The Playhouse this fall. New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel will also present at the festival - giving insight into the current and past state of Broadway with a talk based on his book, "Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway." Riedel's book tells the tale of the men whose contentious battle for the Broadway theater district turned 1970s Times Square into today's mecca for theatergoers and tourists.
Pass-holders will enjoy these and other seminars featuring artists and experts within the musical theater field. They also will network with other pass holders and presenters at an informal farewell brunch on Sunday at the historic home of Bucks County Playhouse Producing Director Alexander Fraser.
Patrick Cassidy appeared on Broadway in "42nd Street" and Elton John's "Aida." He recently was seen in "A Little Night Music" at A.C.T in San Francisco and starred opposite Patti LuPone in "Annie Get Your Gun," directed by Lonny Price. He also had the honor of recreating the role his father, Jack Cassidy, originated on Broadway in the Dallas Theater Center's production of "It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman."
Andrea McArdle received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut when she originated the title role in the hit musical "Annie." Other Broadway credits include "Jerry's Girls," "Starlight Express," "State Fair," "Les Miserables," and "Beauty and the Beast." McArdle appeared Off-Broadway in the satirical "Newsical" and regionally as the title role in "Mame" at The Playhouse and "Hello Dolly". She continues to tour around the country in the concert event, "4 GIRLS 4" with Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie and Faith Prince.
Ashley Brown originated the title role in "Mary Poppins" on Broadway and its subsequent national tour. She also appeared on Broadway as Belle in "Beauty and The Beast." She starred in Jack O'Brien's national tour of "The Sound of Music" and Disney's "On The Record." Brown has starred in Chicago Lyric Opera's productions of "Oklahoma" and "Showboat."
Max von Essen earned a Tony nomination for best featured actor for his work in "An American in Paris," Other Broadway credits include "Evita," "Les Miserables," "Dance of the Vampires" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." Other New York credits include "Yours Unfaithfully" (The Mint Theater), Maury Yeston's "Death Takes a Holiday" (Roundabout), Michael John LaChiusa's "Hello Again," "Jerry Springer: The Opera" at Carnegie Hall, and "Finian's Rainbow" (Irish Repertory Theatre).
Malcom Gets received a Tony nomination for "Amour." Other New York credits include "Steve," "Allegro," "Irma La Douce," "Macbeth," "The Story of My Life," "A New Brain," "The Molière Comedies," "Merrily We Roll Along," "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," "Hello Again," "Boys and Girls," "Finian's Rainbow," "Polish Joke," "Juno," and Encores! "The Boys From Syracuse" and "The Apple Tree." He is best known to TV audiences for his role of Richard on NBC's "Caroline in the City."
Carmen Cusack received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in "Bright Star." Most recently, she performed the one-woman show, "Do This" at Gulfshore Playhouse and appeared in "Sunday in the Park with George" at City Center. She was seen Off-Broadway in "Carrie" and in the national tours of "Wicked" and "South Pacific." She appeared in "For the Record: Scorsese" (The Wallis), "The First Wives Club" (Oriental Theatre), and "Sunday in the Park with George" (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and in London's West End in "Over the Rainbow," "Les Misérables," "The Secret Garden," "Personals," "Phantom of the Opera."
Josh Rhodes (Director) choreographed the Broadway productions of "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella," "It Shoulda Been You," "First Date," and "Bright Star." He choreographed City Center Encores!: "Zorba" and "Big River, " as well as "Company" starring Neil Patrick Harris (PBS) and "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert" (PBS). In London's West End, he choreographed "Sweeney Todd" starring Emma Thompson.
For more information or to purchase either tickets to the benefit concert, or a Weekend Festival Pass, visit www.buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.
Located between Philadelphia and New York, Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 in a converted 1790 gristmill after a group of community activists, led by Broadway orchestrator Don Walker, rallied to save the building. The Playhouse quickly became one of the country's most famous regional theaters, featuring a roster of American theatrical royalty including Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, George S. Kaufman, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Bert Lahr, Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Alan Alda, Tyne Daly, Liza Minnelli and Audra McDonald and remained in continuous operation until December 2010. In 2012, The Playhouse re-opened thanks to the efforts of the Bridge Street Foundation, the nonprofit family foundation of Kevin and Sherri Daugherty. Since its renovation, significant productions include Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons" starring Tyne Daly, which moved to Broadway and was nominated for two Tony Awards, and "Misery" by William Goldman based on the Stephen King novel which also went on to a Broadway run in the 2015-16 season. Two of The Playhouse's productions -- "Company" starring Justin Guarini, and William Finn's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" -- were named by Wall Street Journal to its "Best of Theatre" list for 2015. The Playhouse's productions of "Steel Magnolias" and "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" broke box office records in 2016.