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Oscar Hammerstein Festival is this weekend

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Bucks County Playhouse is hosting a special presentation of the new Broadway musical Female Troubles at the sixth Oscar Hammerstein Festival on Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation, which is part concert and part insider’s view, is open to the public.

At the Saturday night event, current Tony-nominee lyricist Amanda Green (Mr. Saturday Night on Broadway) and composer Curtis Moore (Emmy-nominated for his music on Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) will lead a concert featuring cast members including Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Miss Adelaide in BCP’s Guys and Dolls).

“We are very excited that the Playhouse is playing an integral part in developing this very funny and timely musical,” said Playhouse executive producer Robyn Goodman, who will also interview Green and Moore about the process of developing a new musical for Broadway. “And its writing team is at the top of their game.”

The book is by Jennifer Crittenden (Seinfeld) and Gabrielle Allan (HBO’s Emmy-winning Veep). The evening recalls the famous backers’ auditions that Green’s Tony-winning father Adolph Green and his writing partner Betty Comden (Singing in the Rain, The Will Rogers Follies, On the Town) performed in the 1950s and 1960s to find investors for their upcoming shows.

Female Troubles chronicles Elinor Benton and her Lady’s Maid, who both find themselves surprisingly and undeniably knocked up. Since they are unmarried and it is England in the 19th century, they have a big problem. They set off on a carriage trip to London to find a solution to their “female troubles.” This comedy takes a clear-eyed view of the present through the lens of 1810.

Female Troubles is one of many aspects of the Oscar Hammerstein Festival, an annual celebration of the importance of lyrics in the creation of new musicals. It’s named in honor of the master writer whose countless accomplishments during his illustrious career have included mentoring a young Stephen Sondheim at Hammerstein’s Highland Farm in Bucks County. The weekend of events is part of a year-long program that offers expert mentorship to early career composers and lyricists.

Also scheduled for this year’s festival is a private presentation by composers and lyricists working in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Space Jam Program. For the third year, the Playhouse is partnering with Roundabout Theatre Company by offering two teams of composers and lyricists an artistic retreat in Bucks County. Space Jam is a playwright-support initiative designed to give writers the time and space to work through various types of solo and group writing retreats. This year, the festival will preview works by two teams at a presentation reserved for Bucks County Playhouse subscribers.

Single tickets for the Saturday night benefit presentation of Female Troubles are $35 and can be purchased at buckscountyplayhouse.org, 215-862-2121 or at the box office, 70 S. Main St. in New Hope.

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