Bucks County Playhouse Opens 83rd Season With New Play AMERICAN JADE

Written and starring Emmy-winner Jodi Long.

By: Apr. 27, 2022

Bucks County Playhouse Opens 83rd Season With New Play AMERICAN JADE

When the award-winning actress and playwright, Jodi Long, took her first steps on the Broadway stage in Sidney Lumet's production of "Nowhere to Go But Up," she was entering a professional world that ran through her family's bloodline. Her Vaudevillian parents had long trod the boards - in fact, as part of a popular song and dance act, they even appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1950s.

By the time Long took to Broadway again as Madame Liang in the Broadway 2002 revival of Rodger and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Song," she completed a circle started by her father - Larry Leung, who starred in the original Broadway production of the same musical 40 years earlier. And she continued to trailblaze her own path - breaking barriers by becoming the first actor of Asian descent to win a competitive acting Emmy in 2021 for her role in in Netflix's "Dash and Lily." Showbiz was Jodi Long's destiny.

The new play "American Jade," written and starring Jodi Long, not only connects the dots between an actor daughter and her Vaudevillian parents, but chronicles their fascinating lives, onstage and off, weaving their family history into a story that reflects both the joys and hardships of the immigrant experience in the U.S. in the last century.

"American Jade" brings her entire family's story to life! With live onstage music by Yukio Tsuji (house composer/musician at LaMama ETC for more than 25 years), plus lively doses of humor, song and dance, Long leads us on a vaudeville journey into the past, discovering the imprints that family leaves on us all. Written by Long and directed by Eric Rosen (Public Theater's "Venice"), "American Jade" will kick off Bucks County Playhouse's 83rd Season, May 20 - June 11. The season marks the 10-year anniversary of the reopening of the Playhouse after a lavish renovation in 2012. The official opening night performance is Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 pm. The 2022 Bucks County Playhouse Season is sponsored by Bank of America.

Executive Producer Robyn Goodman, Producing Director Alexander Fraser and Producer Josh Fiedler recently announced details on the production.

"American Jade" grew out of the documentary about Long's vaudevillian parents, "Long Story Short," which she wrote and co-produced. Executive produced by Patricia Richardson and directed by Christine Choy, the documentary played film festivals all over, winning numerous awards including Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

"We are thrilled that our return to a full production season at the playhouse begins with a new play. Jodi's story is universal and anyone who has a family will identify with her search for understanding through ancestry," says Robyn Goodman, Executive Producer. "Developing new work and hearing new stories is essential to creating a vibrant theater. It is the perfect way to launch the next decade of performances at the Playhouse."

"I've been a fan of Jodi Long's since I first saw her on Broadway with Patricia Richardson and Kevin Kline in 'Loose Ends' in 1979," says Producing Director Alexander Fraser. "Jodi has a compelling story to tell that feels more pertinent today than ever before. We're delighted to welcome the multi-talented director Eric Rosen to the Playhouse. I am most grateful to Pat Richardson for introducing us to this funny, insightful play, and am looking forward to what promises to be a beautiful, moving production."

Emmy winning for her role as Mrs. Basil E in Netflix's "Dash and Lily," Long is a veteran of stage, film and television. She made her Broadway debut at age seven in "Nowhere To Go But Up" directed by Sidney Lumet, the first of five Broadway shows she would go on to appear in as an adult: "Loose Ends" with Kevin Kline, "The Bacchae" with Irene Papas, Stephen Sondheim's "Getting Away with Murder" and the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Song", for which she won an Ovation Award at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Numerous off-Broadway productions include Wendy Wasserstein's "Old Money" (Lincoln Center) "Red and The Wash" (Manhattan Theater Club), David Henry Hwang's "Golden Child" and "Family Devotions" (Public Theater) and "The Tooth of Crime" (LaMama). At Pan Asian Rep, she portrayed Titania in a multilingual production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" directed by Tisa Chang, "Rowher and Monkey Music" by Margaret Lamb. Long also performed in the World Tour of Phillip Glass/David Henry Hwang's 90-minute solo piece, "A 1000 Airplanes on The Roof."

She has appeared on film in Marvel's "Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings", "The Tale" with Laura Dern (HBO), "Beginners" with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, Paul Schrader's "Patty Hearst", Mike Newell's "Sour Sweet", "Striking Distance", "Rollover" and "The Hot Chick".

In addition to "Dash and Lily", Long has appeared on television in "Sex and the City," as "Okcha" in TBS's "Sullivan and Son," AMC's "Falling Water," Margaret Cho's mother in "All American Girl", "Cafe Americain" with Valerie Bertinelli, and "Miss Match" with Alicia Silverstone.

The creative team for "American Jade" includes scenic design by Jack Magaw ("Relentless" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre), lighting design by Amanda Zieve ("Hamilton") and sound design by Dan Moses Shreier ("Flying Over Sunset"). Projection design is by Stivo Arnoczy and Stephanie Beattie. Libby Unsworth is production stage manager.

Single tickets to "American Jade" are on sale now. Tickets start at $65. Special rates for groups of 10 or more. Season ticket packages are still available. For complete details, and to purchase tickets, please visit buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

Steeped in a theatrical history that stems back to its founding in 1939 by a roster of theatrical royalty, Bucks County Playhouse is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its 2012 re-opening and restoration. With more than 75,000 patrons walking through its doors every year, the Playhouse is leading the economic resurgence of New Hope and the surrounding community. In 2014, Tony Award-winning producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler took the helm of the Playhouse, reclaiming its reputation of attracting Broadway and Hollywood artists. Playhouse productions of "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. In 2018, the Wall Street Journal again hailed the Playhouse and Artistic Associate Hunter Foster in its Best of the Year listings for its production of "42nd Street" and in 2019 labeled the Playhouse "one of the best regional theaters on the East coast." Box office records have been repeatedly broken by Signature Productions of "Steel Magnolias" directed by Marsha Mason, "Mamma Mia!" directed by John Tartaglia and "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," "Million Dollar Quartet," "42nd Street," and "Guys & Dolls" (all directed by Hunter Foster). In 2021, the team developed and presented Candace Bushnell's "Is There Still Sex in the City," which the Playhouse then partnered to move to New York. The creative teams who come to create new productions at the Playhouse are among the most talented artists working in the professional theatre today and relish the opportunity to work on the historic stage where Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, and Jessica Walter began their careers.

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