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Hunter Foster bridges Bucks, Madison counties in playhouse musical


If talent was a poker game, Hunter Foster would see your three and raise you two. There are plenty of the proverbial “triple threats” around these days, but Hunter Foster, an actor, singer, librettist, playwright, and director has achieved the status of “quintuple threat.”

He first got on stage at 13 years old, playing Linus in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” at his local recreation department in Augusta, Ga. where he grew up. After that, he was hooked.

His stage credits go back to 1992 when he played Rum Tum Tugger in “Cats” on a national tour. Just two years later, he was Danny in “Grease” on Broadway. Other Broadway roles quickly followed, among them, Marius in “Les Miserables,” Ren in “Footloose,” Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors,” Leo Bloom in “The Producers,” as well as many roles at regional and off-Broadway theaters.

Then came what was considered his breakthrough role as Bobby Strong in “Urinetown” in 2001.

Foster’s directorial handiwork is currently being applauded by audiences at Bucks County Playhouse where “The Bridges of Madison County” is running until Sept. 10. Theatergoers have said it’s a searing interpretation of the story that started out as a bestselling novel by Robert James Waller in 1992.

It’s the tale relating how Italian war bride Francesca falls deeply and hopelessly (she is married and has children) in love with Robert Kincaid, a photographer on assignment.

Foster was aided in directing this current production by the fact that he originated the role of Bud, Francesca’s husband, on Broadway in 2014.

Foster was drawn to the story of two middle-aged people discovering each other when they had thought themselves well past the possibility of an illicit love affair. His then girlfriend, now wife, Jennifer Cody gave him the novel to read.

Foster’s first introduction to BCP came when Jed Bernstein who was Artistic Producer at the time, asked him to direct “Summer of ‘42.”

“I love the whole area,” Foster said of Bucks County Tuesday. “Especially in the fall. There’s no better place to be. I love just sitting out by the river.” Of New Hope, he said, “It’s just fantastic, very diverse and just a fun place to be.”

Asked what distinguishes BCP from other theaters where he’s worked, he says, “The Bucks County Playhouse always strives to produce Broadway caliber shows with high quality actors and performers.”

BCP Executive Producer, Robyn Goodman said, “I was deeply moved by Hunter’s production of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ when I saw it in New Jersey in 2022.”

After that Goodman welcomed the opportunity to work with him again.

Foster has been nominated for various awards:

In 2002, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, both for “Urinetown.”

In 2004, the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, both for “Little Shop of Horrors.”

In 2009, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Feature Actor in a Musical for “Happiness.”

Foster will be in Bucks County with the playhouse the rest of this year and into 2024. He will direct Rocky Horror, Oct. 13 – 28, and White Christmas, Nov. 17 – Dec. 31. He has two more shows on tap for next year.

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