After standing dark for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic Bucks County Playhouse stage is shining bright with the stars of Broadway.
The Playhouse, located in New Hope at 70 S. Main St., recently announced its Broadway Spotlight Concert Series, which is bringing intimate performances by some of New York City’s favorite faces. Curated by Jim Caruso, who hosts the weekly showbiz bash “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” at NYC’s Birdland, the series features film, theater and TV stars, including an American Idol alum.
“As we prepare to present theater once again, what better way to celebrate our reopening with theater music,” said producing director Alexander Fraser. “And these artists top the list of great musical theater performers.”
Broadway, television (Netflix’s Halston, Law & Order: SVU) and recording artist Karen Mason will perform two shows of “Vaccinatin’ Rhythm” on Thursday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 21, at 8 p.m. Mason’s first “live and in the room” event in a year and a half will feature music, stories and laughter, with a few surprises. It will encompass songs by Kander and Ebb, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Kern and more.
“I have been waiting for this moment for a year and a half, to sing in a theater. And what better place than one of the most beautiful and legendary theaters in America?” said Mason. “I am so excited to be on the Bucks County Playhouse stage, and to be surrounded by all those spirits of productions past.”
Next, American Idol season four finalist and Tony-nominated Rock of Ages performer Constantine Maroulis will bring his “Don’t Stop Believing” show on Saturday, May 22, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 23, at 2 p.m.
“I know people have come to know me as the rocker from American Idol and certainly Rock of Ages, but my love for classical musical theater goes back to my earliest memories,” said Maroulis. “Bucks County Playhouse is an iconic venue and our community has been through so much over the shutdown of the last year and a half. I’m so excited and humbled to get back on stage and perform.”
The brand new songbook show “Don’t Stop Believing,” according to Maroulis, will “celebrate our resilience as a community and all the great shows that made me who I am today, as well as my unique brand of pop covers and original music.”
Sally Mayes, a Broadway, film, television and cabaret artist, will perform two shows of “An Evening with Sally Mayes” on Thursday, May 27, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 28, at 8 p.m. The concert will take audiences through the many phases of her well-lived life.
“I love telling stories and singing a lot of different kinds of music, which makes this kind of evening a delight for me,” said Mayes. “I adore New Hope and am thrilled to be coming back to celebrate a rebirth of the arts.”
Bucks County Playhouse’s Broadway Concert Spotlight Series continues with Melissa Errico on Thursday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, June 4, at 8 p.m. Christy Altomare performs Thursday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, June 11, at 8 p.m. Billy Stritch presents “Billy’s Place” on Saturday, June 12, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 13, at 2 p.m.
“I was over the moon when the kind and talented people at Bucks County Playhouse asked me to help curate a concert series,” said Caruso. “To invite some of my favorite performers to cavort on one of the most historic stages in the country was a dream come true. Culture brings people together, and if this isn’t a time for some good-spirited, socially distanced togetherness, I don’t know what is. May the extraordinary music, energy and joy help invigorate the Playhouse community as we all look forward to ‘opening up’ again.”
Tickets for each show are $40. Visit BucksCountyPlayhouse.com or call 215-862-2121 for more information. Due to social distancing, quantities are limited.
The theater has developed rigorous safety protocols to protect those working backstage and front-of-house, including virus testing, mask requirements for all those inside the Playhouse, frequent cleaning, Merv 15-rated HVAC filters and restricted access backstage.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com