January 30, 2016
Theater A Moon for the Misbegotten 2 lost souls find solace with one another on a Connecticut farm. Closes 2/7. Walnut Street Theatre - Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St.; 215-574-3550. $30-$35. A Taste of Things To Come New musical about 4 women participating in a baking contest in '50s-era Illinois. Closes 2/21. Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope; 215-862-2121. $30. A Taste of Things To Come New musical about 4 women participating in a baking contest in '50s-era Illinois.
December 20, 2015 |
It's another holiday season, and that means another Bucks County Playhouse production of a Joe Landry holiday classic. This time, it's a reprise of 2012's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play . Though some of the credits have changed, traditionalists needn't fear. Rob Bissinger's set, with backdrop highlighting important Bedford Falls landmarks, and Nicole Moody's warm costumes, the cranberry velvet and warm, woolen plaids, remain. Broadway veteran Hunter Foster directs, and although the show lacks the shimmer of star power that American Idol 's Justin Guarini brought last time, this cast carries with aplomb the spirit of George Bailey, guardian angel Clarence Odbody, and the rest of those friendly upstate neighbors.
September 14, 2015 |
Fixed income? I had no idea what those words really meant until we retired and were there. Like many baby boomers, we've taken our share of financial hits. We've also made a few "great decisions at the time" that have come back to bite us in our fixed incomes. Neither of us got the 30-year handshake, which would have given us the financial freedom to play in Europe like many of our friends. We play anyway. The other day, we went on a European road trip . . . in Bucks County and New Jersey.
July 15, 2015 |
Can you revisit the magic, and perhaps repair the frustrations, of a childhood at once idyllic and a persistent source of contemporary stress? The folks at Bucks County Playhouse must have thought so when they decided to produce Ernest Thompson's On Golden Pond, which features the finest performances I've seen on stage this season. Thompson's 1979 play portrays a lost slice of Americana in its story of Norman and Ethel Thayer, spending their 48th summer in a secluded cabin on Golden Pond in Maine.
June 2, 2015 |
A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century: The definition and importance of marriage shifted, gayness came out of the shadows and proliferated in public, pop cultural, and political life, and Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company turned into a period piece. Bucks County Playhouse's current production brings out the bright side of single-and-searching 35-year-old Bobby-baby-bubi and his well-intentioned married friends. But not even the casting of Bucks County celeb Justin Guarini in that central role can mask the fact that the time may have passed for this version of the show.
June 1, 2015 |
WHEN IT comes to local theater, "summer season" is something of a misnomer. That's because the prior year's "season," in this case the 2014-15 theater season, often wraps by late June as companies and theaters wind down to gear up for the next season's fall presentations. But there are still plenty of noteworthy productions to catch up on - "The Lion King" and "Memphis" are the two big, ongoing musical attractions - and a handful of summer openings ahead. As for star power, the warm weather isn't bringing much our way . . . other than first-season "American Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini.
May 31, 2015 |
The former longtime owner of the historic Bucks County Playhouse was found guilty Friday by a federal jury of claiming more than $200,000 in fraudulent insurance payments after a 2006 flood devastated the property, prosecutors said. Ralph Miller could face up to 30 years in prison for convictions on counts of money laundering and mail fraud, said Assistant U.S. Attorney K.T. Newton. Miller, who for three decades owned the theater along the Delaware River in New Hope, was accused of submitting false invoices for expensive theater lights and emergency repair work after the 2006 flood, Newton said.
May 29, 2015
THE FIRST thing you notice about Justin Guarini is that he looks nothing like he did when he spent several months as a national obsession on the first season of "American Idol. " Gone is the halo of tight, reddish curls that crowned his boyish, clean-shaven face. Today, the 36-year-old Doylestown native sports black hair cut relatively short, a slightly scruffy black beard and a mustache (all of which give him a passing resemblance to 1950s actor Sal Mineo ). And his professional focus, at least for the time being, is no longer mainstream pop music but show tunes from such works as "Wicked" and Stephen Sondheim 's "Company," in which he is starring, tonight through June 21, at New Hope's Bucks County Playhouse.
April 8, 2015 |
NEW HOPE - National Pastime , Bucks County Playhouse's brand new musical about Depression-era baseball, all but promises to be an insufferably inspirational story about big-hearted athletes, America triumphing over economic adversity, and that eternal source of sentimental hero worship, Babe Ruth. And yes, it's all there - but comically contextualized in a different set of all-American values: lies, deceit, and mercantile ethics in small-town Iowa. The plot hangs by a slender thread: A small radio station is about to go belly up, so it invents a local sports team, has it constantly playing games on the road (and in improbable places like Helsinki and Barcelona)
March 27, 2015
THE BASEBALL season doesn't commence in South Philadelphia until April 6, when the Phillies host the Boston Red Sox. But in New Hope, Thursday will be Opening Day as "National Pastime" debuts at the Bucks County Playhouse. "National Pastime," which runs through April 19, is billed as a musical love letter to baseball. The plot of the set-in-Depression-era-Iowa comedy centers on a struggling radio station that broadcasts the "games" of a make-believe team in order to boost ratings.