|Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope (Photo: Charlie Sahner)|
By Charlie Sahner
Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope announced this week that its summer season for 2014 will include stage productions of Chapter Two, Deathtrap, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and Ain’t Misbehavin’.
Playhouse officials also offered a glimpse at their new restaurant — a riverside cafe using joint arrangements with neighboring restaurants to offer small plates to accompany full bar service at tables along the Delaware River and Aquetong Creek.
The Playhouse’s production season starts with with Neil Simon’s romantic comedy Chapter Two, directed by Marsha Mason (who starred as ‘Jennie’ in the film version). Performances begin May 22 and run through June 15.
Running from June 19 through July 13 will be the comic thriller Deathtrap, written by suspense master Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby).
Later in July, Marilu Henner makes a return to the Playhouse in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang. Henner plays the narcissistic movie star Masha, who surprises her siblings at their Bucks County home. Sheryl Kaller directs this comedy that won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. Performances run from July 17 through Aug. 10.
Lastly, come August the theater echoes with the songs of Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’. Directed by Hunter Foster and choreographed by Lorin Lotarro, the duo will attempt to recreate the Golden Age of Harlem nightclubs. Based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., the show runs from Aug. 14 until Sept. 7.
“We are thrilled to welcome Marsha Mason and Marilu Henner back to Bucks County this summer, and look forward to sharing these fantastic shows with our subscribers, neighbors and new friends,” said Robyn Goodman, executive producer of the Bucks County Playhouse, in promotional material posted to the organization’s website.
The Playhouse also provided greater detail on its riverside cafe, which will afford an outdoor dining and drinking experience along the banks of the Delaware River and Aquetong Creek. “We’re partnering with local restaurants in offering hot and cold small plates with our full bar before and after each show,” said the announcement. On a practical level, that means a portable bar will be moved out onto the existing rear deck of the building, which will serve as a staging area for service to customers at tables lining the waterways below, confirmed a Playhouse spokesperson.
First partner signed on? None other than Cafe Blue Moose, who will provide the food items in portable plastic containers. The system seems to neatly satisfy local ordinances and the county health department. Blue Moose is located within a few hundred feet of the Playhouse cafe, as is Nick Gialias’ much-anticipated eatery featuring small plates.
Playhouse officials also confirmed they will be featuring “an unplugged musical schedule showcasing local emerging musicians,” a move that should be well-received by municipal officials (it’s non-amplified and limited to the Playhouse front courtyard), warm weather music lovers, and local musicians looking for a new venue.