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Bucks County Playhouse set to launch 80th anniversary season

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Bucks County Playhouse’s 80th anniversary season will kick off with the thriller “Dial M for Murder,” May 17 to June 15.

Mike Donahue (Off-Broadway hit, “The Legend of Georgia McBride”) will direct the production.

The Playhouse will follow up its two 2018 successes with “Mamma Mia!,” the international phenomena, which will be the largest musical produced at the historic venue since reopening in 2012.

Tony-nominated actor John Tartaglia (original star of Broadway’s “Avenue Q”) will direct, with choreography by Broadway veteran, Shannon Lewis (“Fosse”). Will Shuler is musical director. “Mamma Mia!” runs June 28 to Aug. 3.

Ted Swindley’s “Always … Patsy Cline,” a musical focusing on the friendship between the country music icon and a Texas housewife, will star Sally Struthers (BCP’s “Clue: On Stage”) and Carter Calvert and feature direction by David Galligan. Performances are Aug. 9 to Sept. 7. Shuler is musical director.

Bucks County Playhouse Artistic Associate Lorin Latarro (“Waitress”) will direct and choreograph the Tony-winning, “Once: The Musical,” Nov. 8 to 30.

All shows in the 2019 season are cast by Geoff Josselson, CSA.

Two shows off subscription will return: the Playhouse’s production of “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show,” with choreography by Latarro and direction by Hunter Foster, from Oct. 11 to 27; and Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen’s “Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show,” with direction by Greenberg, Dec. 6 to 29.

“With box office record-breaking productions of ‘42nd Street’ and ‘Million Dollar Quartet,’ our 2018 season was a resounding success. More than 30 percent of our audience were first-time ticket buyers last year — more than any other time in the Playhouse’s 80-year history,” said Producer Josh Fiedler.

“This 2019 season reflects this growth and shows our commitment to reward audiences — old and new — with a high-quality theater experience.”

The Playhouse also will observe its 80th anniversary with a series of benefit readings as part of its Play Discovery Reading Series. Curated by Marsha Mason, the series continues with upcoming readings of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and “Lion In Winter.”

This summer, the Playhouse will produce its annual Oscar Hammerstein Festival — a weekend of special events devoted to musical theater and the importance of lyric writing.

The centerpiece of the Playhouse’s 80th celebration will be a riverfront gala at the Playhouse in September that will also officially unveil a revitalized New Hope waterfront. Details on all these events will be announced soon.

Season tickets start at $200 for four shows. Single tickets also are on sale. All play titles, artists and dates are subject to change. Details on casting will be announced soon. Visit BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

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