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Bucks Playhouse benefit readings set for New York, New Hope

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A star-studded cast led by Becky Ann Baker (HBO’s “Girls”), five-time Tony nominee Dana Ivy (off-Broadway’s original “Driving Miss Daisy”), four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason (“The Goodbye Girl”) and Tony winner John Rubinstein (“Children of a Lesser God”) will star in a benefit reading of “The Torch-Bearers” for Bucks County Playhouse.

Performances will be held in New York at the Westside Theatre at 7 p.m. Monday, March 11, and then two days later at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. The reading is the first of three benefit readings that will mark the Playhouse’s 80th anniversary.

The “Noises Off” of its day, “The Torch-Bearers” was first presented at Bucks County Playhouse in 1949 in a production that featured the playwright’s niece, Grace Kelly. At the time, Kelly was making her professional acting debut at the age of 19. For the March readings, Ginna Le Vine will follow in her great aunt’s footsteps and play the same role Kelly played in the 1949 Playhouse production.

Tony- and Emmy-nominated stage and screen actor Dylan Baker will direct the star-studded readings of George Kelly’s 1922 farce both in New York City and Bucks County. Paul Mullins will co-direct.

“The Torch-Bearers” continues Bucks County Playhouse’s Play Discovery Reading Series, which launched late last year. The series is curated by Mason and is designed to expose audiences to lesser-known classic plays, as well as new works.

For the 80th Anniversary Season of Bucks County Playhouse, Mason has chosen to take a look at the Playhouse’s storied history — and will feature plays that have significant meaning to the Playhouse. Additional titles will be announced shortly.

The March 13 reading of “The Torch-Bearers” will take place on the stage of Bucks County Playhouse and will be followed by a post-show discussion with the cast. Tickets for the New Hope reading are $20.

The March 11 reading in New York City will be held at the Westside Theatre. Tickets are $20 general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for the New York reading only for $75. VIP admission includes a post-reading reception with the cast.

Tickets for the New York event must be purchased in advance. Tickets are not available for purchase at the Westside Theatre Box Office or at the venue the night of the show.

Tickets for both evenings may be purchased at BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or 267-740-2090.

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