Bucks Cty Playhouse Announces Winter/Spring Visiting Art Series
This winter and spring Bucks County Playhouse offers a full slate of entertainment representing a wide variety of musical, comedy and special event performances as part of the Visiting Artists Series at the Playhouse.
JAN. 20 -- MISS ADELAIDE RETURNS TO THE PLAYHOUSE! BROADWAY'S Lesli Margherita IN "A Broad's Way." Lesli Margherita thrilled audiences in this summer's smash hit "Guys and Dolls" at the Playhouse. An Olivier Award winner for her West End debut as Inez in ZORRO THE MUSICAL, Lesli made her Broadway debut originating the role of Mrs. Wormwood in "Matilda The Musical." Lesli currently recurs on three television dramas: Homeland (Showtime), Instinct (CBS), and Seven Seconds (Netflix).
FEB. 14 TO 25 -- Frank Ferrante BRINGS HIS GROUCHO
SHOW TO THE PLAYHOUSE. Frank Ferrante (Groucho) is an actor, director, and producer described by The New York Times as "the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx's material." Discovered by Groucho's son Arthur when Frank was a drama student at the University of Southern California, Frank originated the off-Broadway title role in "Groucho: A Life in Revue" (written B. Arthur) portraying the comedian from age 15 to 85. For this role, Frank won 1987's New York's Theatre World Award and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He reprised the role in London's West End and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for 'Comedy Performance of the Year.' ** Local angle - The Marx Brothers spent a lot of time in New Hope and Bucks County. They would stay in George Kaufman's house -- now the Barley Sheaf Bed and Breakfast outside New Hope.
FEBRUARY 10 - HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON'S MUSIC OFFERINGS IS TWO-TIME GRAMMY WINNING TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET LAUNCHING THEIR NEW CD "BIRD'S EYE VIEW." In their high-flying program of the same name, Turtle Island Quartet (TIQ) pays homage to the incandescent visionary brilliance of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. TIQ fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined. Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be "a unified voice that truly breaks new ground - authentic and passionate - a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today."
MARCH 7 TO 11 -- DANCE TO THE MOVIES celebrates and reinvents some of Hollywood's best musical moments in this high energy show that stars and is hosted by "Dancing with the Stars" (DWTS) pros (mirror ball winner) Tony Dovolani and Anna Trebunskaya. Top choreographers from DWTS re-imagined the new numbers - including Jaymz Tuaileva, Lacey Schwimmer, Chelsie Hightower and more. "American Idol" finalists also lend their vocal talent to the performance. Some of the movies highlighted in the dance routines include "West Side Story," "Grease," "Chicago," and "Moulin Rouge" plus new, stunning dances to scores from "Singin' In The Rain," "Titanic," "The Matrix" and "Willie Wonka."
MAY 5 - WELL-STRUNG STRING QUARTET WITH A MODERN TWIST featuring Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola). Two of the group's members (Marchant and Wadleigh) are current cast members of the new season of CBS-TV'S "Amazing Race." The New York Times hailed Well-Strung as "talented" for "brilliantly fusing pop and classical music.
CATAPULT - LIVING SHADOWS -- AN "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" FINALIST FROM SEASON 8. An "America's Got Talent" finalist from Season 8, Catapult is a magical production that features incredible dancers who work behind a screen to create shadow silhouettes of shapes from the world around us. Be amazed as you watch their bodies transform into a mountain, an elephant, a dragon, even a helicopter! You'll never figure out how they do it, and you won't know what they will create next - you'll be surprised and delighted again and again. Packed with hundreds of shape transformation, the show is full of humor, emotion and engaging stories.
MUSIC ... MUSIC ... MUSIC - There are many musical programs in addition to those above including local jazz artist Eric Mintel (February 9), In the Mood (March 21 to 25) - the 1940s musical revue celebrating its 25th Anniversary of Touring the U.S., The Everly Brothers Experience (May 4) returns performed by The Bird Dogs (composed of singing brothers Dylan and Zachary Zmed (sons of "T.J. Hooker" star Adrian Zmed) and more.
Most Visiting Artists Series performances are now on sale. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www. buckscountyplayhouse.org call the box office at 215-862-2121.
Bucks County Playhouse, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the oldest and largest professional Equity performing arts center in Bucks County. Under the direction of Tony Award-winning producers Alexander Fraser and Robyn Goodman, the Playhouse provides first class professional theatrical entertainment as well as community events, partnerships and arts education programming for visitors and residents of New Hope, Doylestown, Lambertville and the Delaware Valley.
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 and playwright Moss Hart, 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, and Broadway producer Jed Bernstein.
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 recent 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. The record was broken again with its production of "Guys and Dolls" in Summer 2017. Thanks to the Bridge Street Foundation and its vision for the New Hope waterfront, the Playhouse is currently in construction as it adds a 4,000-square foot riverfront cafe and bar that will open in 2018.