A new action adventure

Hunter Bell’s ‘Other World’ is set to premiere at Bucks County Playhouse in 2020

Game on: The original, new musical Other World chronicles Sri and Lorraine as they get trapped in a video game. Source: Bucks County Playhouse

In the classic film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy had to trek through Munchkinland, acquire a hodgepodge group of comrades, and destroy the Wicked Witch of the West in order to truly appreciate her quaint but full life in Kansas with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

From March 13 through April 11 on the Bucks County Playhouse stage, audiences will watch as Sri and Lorraine unwillingly embark on a similar, slightly more high-tech adventure, to learn “there’s no place like home,” as Dorothy so accurately put it while clicking her red ruby slippers.

The Playhouse’s executive producer Robyn Goodman, producing director Alexander Fraser and producer Josh Fiedler recently announced that the original, new musical Other World is making its world premiere at the historic New Hope theater.

Other World features a book by Tony and Drama Desk nominee and Obie winner Hunter Bell, and music and lyrics by Obie-winner Jeff Bowen and Ann McNamee. Adrienne Campbell-Holt (founding artistic director of Brooklyn’s Colt Coeur and the recipient of the 2018 Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award, and associate director for Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen) directs Other World, with choreography by Karla Puno Garcia (Broadway’s Hamilton and finale co-choreographer for The Cher Show on Broadway). The full cast will be announced at a later date.

The musical begins with Sri and Lorraine in an average garage on Earth, with the pair playing Sri’s favorite video game “Other World.” Unexpectedly, they’re transported into the game, and find themselves trapped in a strange, fantastical universe. The unlikely duo is forced to work together, discover their hidden inner strengths, and connect with other gamers to find their way home.

The original musical explores the connections we make on and off line, and celebrates the families and friendships we need to thrive in any world.

“There’s so much energy and passion around Comic Cons, the gaming community and superhero action/adventure stories,” said Bell. “To tap into all of that and make an original musical comedy in a fantastical world is beyond thrilling. We’re also really proud to be creating a family-friendly show where battles and conflicts are represented with creative non-gun alternatives.”

Fraser said he and the rest of the Playhouse team are thrilled to introduce Other World at the Playhouse.

“When Robyn and I first saw a reading of Other World, we were immediately captivated,” said Fraser. “Broadway hasn’t had a good family-friendly, action-adventure musical in years, and we’re thrilled to launch what we hope will be a very long life for Other World.”

“This is the first time a Broadway creative team is taking on a story about our fascination with video games,” added Goodman. “And while its technology may be groundbreaking, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, sometimes you have to travel to another world to realize there’s no place like home.”

This is the third world premiere musical to be produced at the Playhouse since its reopening in 2012. Bucks County Playhouse previously produced Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story in September 2017 and The New World in November of that same year. Other world premieres include Misery (2013), Mothers & Sons (2013) and Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show (2017).

Tickets to Other World start at $65 with special reduced-price tickets available for previews. Groups of 10 or more qualify for reduced rates. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit buckscountyplayhouse.org, call 215-862-2121 or visit the box office at 70 S. Main St., New Hope. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com