HomeEntertainmentBucks County Playhouse announces 2024 mainstage season

Bucks County Playhouse announces 2024 mainstage season

Offerings include ‘Grease,’ ‘Anastasia’ and the world premiere musical ‘Last of the Red Hot Mamas’

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Audiences can head to Rydell High School, 1920s Paris and more during Bucks County Playhouse’s 85th mainstage season. 

Producing director Alexander Fraser, executive producer Robyn Goodman, producer Josh Fiedler and managing director Adele Adkins recently announced the forthcoming lineup, which kicks off in May and features four productions in the historic venue, located at 70 S. Main St. in New Hope.

“For 2024, we’re taking a fresh look at three of the greats: Noises Off, Grease and, for the holidays, Anastasia,” said Fraser. “In between, we are proud to produce another world premiere, the new musical Last of the Red Hot Mamas. We hope these shows will honor the Playhouse’s history in presenting first-class productions of well-loved revivals while also fostering new works that reflect the diversity of the modern American theater.”

The season begins May 17 with Noises Off, directed by BCP artistic associate Hunter Foster and running through June 16. A director and troupe of mediocre actors blunder from a bad dress rehearsal to a spectacularly disastrous performance, yet no flubbed line, missed cue, slamming door, falling trouser or flying sardine will keep the show from (hilariously) going on. It stars Jennifer Cody (Broadway’s Urinetown, Grease, Shrek and BCP’s The Rocky Horror Show) as Dotty, John Bolton (Broadway’s Dames at Sea and BCP’s Company) as Frederick and Marilu Henner as Belinda, reprising the role she first played in the 1992 film version of Noises Off

Next, the world premiere musical Last of the Red Hot Mamas runs June 28-July 27. Before Mae West, Bette Midler or Queen Latifah, there was Sophie Tucker, who was determined to conquer vaudeville, whatever the cost. With the help of two former Harlem headliners, Tucker’s rise from a deli to international fame is told with song, dance and a big dose of her groundbreakingly sassy humor. Tucker, a star in vaudeville, on Broadway and in the Ziegfeld Follies, was known for her risque songs, including “Red Hot Mama,” “The Right Church But the Wrong Pew” and her theme song “Some of These Days.” The musical features these songs, along with other classics of their time.

“We’re thrilled to present an original musical, Last of the Red Hot Mamas, about the pioneering comedienne, Sophie Tucker. This is a passion project for the writing team of Susan and Lloyd Ecker and Harrison David Rivers, and with director/choreographer Shea Sullivan, they are excited to introduce to audiences this woman who was a trailblazing figure on stage and off,” said Fiedler.

Closing out the summer at the Playhouse is a fresh take on Grease, running Aug. 9-Sept. 8. Foster returns to direct the show that he appeared in on Broadway in the 1994 revival. Shannon Lewis is choreographing, with book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. It’s Rydell High in 1959 and the duck-tailed, hot-rodding Burger Palace Boys and the gum-snapping Pink Ladies rule the school. After a summer romance, Danny and Sandy are unexpectedly reunited for their senior year. But can they survive the good and bad times at Rydell High?

The 2024 season concludes with Anastasia: The Musical, running Nov. 22-Jan. 5. Featuring the popular songs from the original animated feature and more, Anastasia is a musical adventure that transports its audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. A brave young woman named Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past, but is pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her. The book is by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.

The upcoming season comes on the heels of a successful 2023, when two productions broke box office records. The Rocky Horror Show starring Frankie Grande as Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter kicked off the first string of sold-out houses, culminating in a holiday engagement of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which became the top-selling title in the Playhouse’s storied history.

“The success of Rocky Horror and White Christmas last season was overwhelming, but also encouraging. In 2024, we look to continue the growth and momentum we experienced last year,” said Adkins. “There is genuine excitement surrounding the audiences that continue to return to the theater. We are happy to offer a starting price of $39 with the hopes that it will make theater accessible to as many people as possible.” 

Once again, The Rocky Horror Show is offered as an additional off-subscription production. Running Oct. 11-Nov. 3, the show is directed by Foster and choreographed by Lewis, with book, music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien. The musical that inspired the 1975 cult classic film, The Rocky Horror Show follows engaged couple Brad and Janet as they seek shelter at a mysterious old castle on a dark and stormy night. Here, they encounter transvestite scientist Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter as he unveils his perfect male creation Rocky. The show features an infectious rock n’ roll score.

Season tickets are now available at $240 for a four-show package (including fees). Special discounted subscriptions are available for patrons under 40. A special presale for single tickets offers prices beginning at $39. Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Additional details on casting will be announced soon. For tickets and more information, visit BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

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