Photo Flash: Inside Bucks Cty. Playhouse Play Reading of THE TORCH-BEARERS

A star-studded cast led by Becky Ann Baker (HBO's "Girls."), 5-Time Tony nominee Dana Ivey (off-Broadway's original "Driving Miss Daisy"), 4-Time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason ("The Goodbye Girl") and Tony winner John Rubinstein ("Children of a Lesser God") starred in a benefit reading of "The Torch-Bearers" for Bucks County Playhouse. Performances were held in New York at The Westside Theatre on Monday, March 11. and then two days later at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope on Wednesday, March 13. The reading was the first of three benefit readings that mark the Playhouse's 80th anniversary.

The "Noises Off" of its day, "The Torch-Bearers" was first presented at Bucks County Playhouse in 1949 in a production that featured the playwright's niece, Grace Kelly. At the time, Kelly was making her professional acting debut at the age of 19. For the March readings, Ginna Le Vine followed in her great aunt's footsteps and played the same role Grace played in the 1949 Playhouse production.

The photos include the cast in a Talk-Back after the play-reading with commentary by John Lehman, nephew of playwright George Kelly and first cousin once removed of the late Grace Kelly (Princess Grace of Monaco.) Mr. Lehman was the Secretary of the Navy (1981 to 1987) and serves as the Chairman of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. The cast, creative team and guests gathered in the Playhouse's new restaurant/bar called The Deck, where most of the photos were taken. (See the dropbox link above.)

Tony and Emmy nominated stage and screen actor, Dylan Baker, directed the star-studded readings of George Kelly's 1922 farce both in New York City and Bucks County. Paul Mullins co-directed. "The Torch-Bearers" continued Bucks County Playhouse's Play Discovery Reading Series, which launched late last year. The series is curated by Marsha Mason and is designed to expose audiences to lesser known classic plays, as well as new works. For the 80th Anniversary Season of Bucks County Playhouse, Mason has chosen to take a look at the Playhouse's storied history - and will feature plays that have significant meaning to the Playhouse. Additional titles will be announced shortly.



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