Last night, July 2, was the Bucks County Playhouse re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, as well as the first performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's A Grand Night for Singing. The first production of the Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) 2012 summer season, A Grand Night for Singing will run through Sunday, July 29th. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place 73 years and a day after The Playhouse first opened in 1939. Special guests included Mayor Laurence Keller (New Hope), Chris Hart (son of Moss Hart), Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Cawley, Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district), and Will Hammerstein (Grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II). See below for photos from both events!
Directed by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Lonny Price, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing features more than 30 of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest hits, from “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” to “Some Enchanted Evening.” This 1994 Tony Award-nominated musical revue is “something wonderful” for all lovers of classic musical theater.
A Grand Night for Singing has music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Musical arrangements are by Fred Wells with orchestrations by Michael Gibson and Jonathan Tunick. It was originally produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, New York City in 1993 and conceived by Walter Bobbie.
The cast features a line-up of some of Broadway’s most seasoned performers including Courtney Balan (Broadway: [title of show], Cry-Baby), Ron Bohmer (Broadway: Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime), Greg Bosworth (Atlanta: Xanadu, Clyde and Bonnie: A Folktale), Erin Davie (Broadway: A Little Night Music, Grey Gardens), and Kenita R. Miller (Broadway: Xanadu, The Color Purple). These top Broadway performers have appeared in critically acclaimed New York productions and have collectively played over 4,000 Broadway performances, underlining The Playhouse’s commitment to featuring the best performers available.
Located 90 minutes from New York City, the Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 on the site of a grist mill dating from the late eighteenth century. Ironically, the structure was at that time in danger of demolition; however playwright Moss Hart and the local community rallied to save the building and re-opened it as a theatrical venue, which quickly became one of the country’s most famous regional theaters. In continuous operation until December 2010, a veritable who’s who of American theatrical royalty has trod its boards, including Kim Hunter, Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurst, Shirley Booth, Lillian Gish, June Lockhart, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Bert Lahr, Leslie Nielsen and Walter Matthau.
For more information and tickets to the rest of the season's productions, visit bcptheater.org.
Photo credit: Mandee Kuenzle