Tributes to Aretha Franklin, Michael Bublé & More Set for February At Bucks County Playhouse

Music, comedy, and a concert that dramatizes the story of America’s first black cowboy are the highlights of Bucks County Playhouse’s Visiting Artists Series in the month

By: Jan. 26, 2024

Tributes to Aretha Franklin, Michael Bublé & More Set for February At Bucks County Playhouse Music, comedy and a concert that dramatizes the story of America's first black cowboy are the highlights of Bucks County Playhouse's Visiting Artists Series in the month of February. 
 

The February series kicks off with “A Portrait of Aretha” starring jazz and blues recording artists, CeCe Teneal, February 2 at 7:30 pm, February 3 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Aretha Franklin was known for teaching people how to “Think” and demand “Respect…” all while ridin' on the “Freeway of Love!” In “Portrait of Aretha,” CeCe Teneal honors the legacy of the Queen of Soul with personalized interpretations of both popular and lesser-known songs from this 18-Grammy-Award-winning icon's 50-year career, including “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Rock Steady,” and many more. Teneal's journey to the stage, mirrored that of Aretha Franklin. Both women found their voices in southern Baptist church choirs. Teneal's mother, also a performer who toured as the opening act for Smokey Robinson, and grandmother discovered Teneal could sing when they would play Aretha Franklin records while Teneal completed her chores. From there, her love affair with Franklin's music and voice were cemented.
 

On February 10 and 11, just in time for Valentine's Day, the Playhouse will present “Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé.” Proving perhaps that three Bublés are better than one, a cast performs incredible songs from the international recording artists' catalog including “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Home,” “Everything,” “Fever,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and many more. “Shades of Bublé” brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Michael Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event. Performances are Saturday, February 10 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 11 at 1:30 p.m.

Events take a more outrageously comic (and decidedly adult), turn February 16 and 17, when the off-Broadway hit, “Dixie's Tupperware Party,” rolls into New Hope. Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma's Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternative-uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation, and a little bit of empowerment and homespun wisdom, “Dixie's Tupperware Party” leaves your heart a little bigger and your food a little fresher. Performances are Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 17 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Playhouse will end the month February 23 – 24 with performances of “Cross That River,” a musical concert that dramatizes the story of a runaway slave who becomes one of America's first black cowboys. The unsettled West of the 1860s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave, who escapes to Texas to become one of America's first Black Cowboys. This compelling tale of freedom integrates fiction with historical fact, and each song in the blues and jazz jazz-inflected concert presents a different page in this complicated chapter of American History. Performances are Friday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 24 at 1:30 p.m. Bucks County Playhouse's brings a variety of entertainment to its historic stage through the Visiting Artist Series every year. Renowned and unique performers from across the country (and around the globe) join local favorites for a lineup of crowd-pleasing fare January through April — complimenting the Playhouse's self-produced mainstage series which is onstage from May through December. 

Complete Schedule of Visiting Artists Series Performances:
 

“Portrait of Aretha” • February 2 at 7:30 pm and February 3 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“Shades of Bublé ” • February 10 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, February 11 at 1:30 pm
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” • February 16 at 7:30 pm, February 17 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“Cross That River” • February 23 at 11 am and 7:30 pm, February 24 at 1:30 pm
“Always Olivia” • March 1 at 7:30 pm, March 2 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“The Sounds of Soul” • March 8 at 7:30 pm, March 9 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“The Jersey Tenors” • March 15 at 7:30 pm, March 16 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, March 17 at 1:30 pm
Isaac Mizrahi” • March 23 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“Chris Funk” • March 30 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
“The Ugly Duckling” • April 5 at 9 am, 11 am and 7:30 pm
“Take3” • April 12 at 7:30 pm
Norbert Leo Butz” • April 13 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, April 14 at 1:30 pm
“The Great DuBois” • April 27 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Claybourne Elder” • May 4 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
 

ABOUT BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE

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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