In the midst of preparing for its 2020 season, which is slated to include stage favorites like The Addams Family and Avenue Q, Bucks County Playhouse is gearing up for another set of highly-anticipated shows – the Visiting Artists Series.
Over the past several years, the series has become a favorite tradition for audiences, with past performances including Love Letters, which starred Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross from Family Ties, and The Music of Simon and Garfunkel by Swearigen and Kelli.
The Visiting Artists Series represents one of the few times on the Playhouse calendar when outside producers take the stage to showcase their work. Renowned and unique performers from across the country and around the globe join local favorites for a lineup of crowd-pleasing entertainment.
The 2020 winter edition begins Jan. 30 and runs through the opening of BCP’s own production of the world-premiere musical Other World in March.
The first show is My Life on a Diet, on stage Jan. 30-Feb. 2. Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning writer and actress Renée Taylor looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets. A self-described “diet junkie” who used to think that if she ate like a star, she would look and live like one, Taylor dishes out both juicy anecdotes and weight loss-tips from Hollywood legends such as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and Barbra Streisand. She also shares hilarious and poignant stories about Joseph Bologna, her partner in work and life for 52 years. Taylor tells about her highs and lows, on and off the scale.
Next is Forever Young. Running Feb. 4-9, this is an exciting new look at the greatest hits of all time. Starring five talented guys, the production takes audience members back to the music of their youth, back to the moment they discovered what it meant to set the record down, push play and tune in. Set in a suburban basement, Forever Young is jam-packed with powerhouse vocals, dynamite choreography and, most importantly, a story of five best friends who discover that a record player can truly change everything.
The series continues on Feb. 11-15 with One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, produced by Starvox Entertainment (Evil Dead! The Musical and Potted Potter!). Officially endorsed by Lucasfilm, One-Man Star Wars Trilogy has been performed for more than a million Star Wars fans at London’s West End, the Sydney Opera House and Off-Broadway. Charles Ross will stun and amaze with his fun and energetic performance. The result of his “misspent” youth is the creation of the Trilogy, during which he single-handedly plays all the characters with spot-on voice impressions, sings the music, flies the ships, fights the battles and condenses the plots of three films into one production. Suitable for Star Wars fans ages 6 to Yoda.
Ross returns on Feb. 15-16 (matinees only) with One-Man Stranger Things: A Parody. In this recreation of season one of the Netflix sensation Stranger Things, Ross single-handedly fuses all the characters, dialogue, special effects, music and Eggos into one superb, upside-down show.
On April 25, the series concludes with Ann Hampton Callaway: The Barbra Streisand Songbook, during which the Platinum Award-winning singer-songwriter celebrates the music of one of America’s most powerful and enduring musical artists. Singing timeless classics from five decades of Streisand’s multi-faceted career, Callaway crafts a loving musical portrait of the icon who began as a role model for her and evolved as a mentor. In a night of soaring songs and stories, Callaway promises a performance that not only celebrates the extraordinary career of Streisand, but reminds people of “the way we were.”
Tickets for Visiting Artists Series performances are on sale now. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more. Visit BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or call the box office at 215-862-2121 to purchase tickets or for more information. Bucks County Playhouse is located at 70 S. Main St., New Hope. ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org