Tony nominee Hunter Foster will direct three productions during Bucks County Playhouse's 2017 season: the previously announced world premiere of the new comedy Clue: On Stage, based on the board game and adapted from the cult film, the classic American musical comedy Guys and Dolls, and the Playhouse return of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.
The season at the New Hope, Pennsylvania venue will launch May 2 with the Foster-directed Clue: On Stage, adapted by Jonathan Lynn from his screenplay. The production, presented by special arrangement with The Araca Group, Work Light Productions, Michael Barra Productions, and Aged in Wood Productions, is described as such: “On a dark and stormy night, six unique guests, plus a butler and a maid, assemble for a dinner party at the home of Mr. Boddy. When their host turns up dead, it is clear that no one is safe! Soon the guests are racing to find the killer and keep the body count from stacking up.” Performances continue through May 20.
Larry Shue’s The Nerd, directed by Mark Vietor, will follow, running June 23–July 15. The comedy is set at Willum’s birthday party, which “is about to get a jolt of excitement. Rick Steadman, a fellow ex-soldier who had saved Willum’s life in Vietnam, but who he actually never met, has decided to pop by for a visit. Delighted at first, Willum’s enthusiasm wanes when he finds out that Rick is not only socially inept, but also never plans to leave! Desperate to get him out of the house, Willum must hatch an outrageous plan to rid his life of this wacky GI who came to dinner!”
Guys and Dolls, also directed by Foster, will be presented July 21–August 12. Choreographed by Jeremy Dumont, the classic Frank Loesser musical features such tunes as “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat,” “If I Were a Bell,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” “Luck Be A Lady,” and more.
Jon Robin Baitz's Tony-nominated Other Desert Cities, about family secrets and a tell-all memoir, will play Bucks County beginning August 18. Directed by Sheryl Kaller, the Palm Springs-set drama will continue through September 2.
The season will conclude November 7–26 with the world premiere of the new musical The New World, which features a book by Regina DeCicco and L.F. Turner, music by Gary Adler, and lyrics by Phoebe Kreutz. Stafford Arima will direct with choreography by Lorin Latarro. The Playhouse describes the musical thusly: “It’s 1620 and, much to the Wampanoag Indians’ chagrin, the Pilgrims are moving in — ready to rock the ’new’ world. From the producers and co-creator of Altar Boyz, this outrageously funny big new musical is everything you never learned in history class!”
The return of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, directed by Foster with choreography by Lorin Latarro, will be presented May 27–June 17 as a non-subscription event, prior to moving to Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
“We are very excited to launch our 2017 season with the world premiere of Clue: On Stage, directed by Hunter Foster, whose work will be showcased in three Playhouse productions this summer,” said executive producer Robyn Goodman in a statement. “Based on an iconic Paramount film and the beloved Hasbro game, Clue not only has broad appeal, but will feature our biggest, most complicated physical production yet, with the kind of tricks and stagecraft that only scenic designer Anna Louizos can deliver.”
“It is fitting that our other world premiere this season, The New World, grew out of our 2014 Oscar Hammerstein Festival,” added Producer Josh Fiedler. “This musical, which is both hilarious and timely, explores a world turned upside down when the Native Americans are forced to welcome an unruly group of Puritanical immigrants who come crashing onto their shore.”
Season subscription tickets are now available and start at $149 for all five shows. For tickets and additional information, visit BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or call (215) 862-2121.