Wonderful theater surrounds those of us in Bucks County and adjoining areas.
The spring and summer season has been heating up with a marvelous assortment of musicals and plays by both professional and community theaters. However, because of the coronavirus and the cautions we have been given to stay away from crowds, most of the theaters are announcing their seasons will delay openings.
Broadway shows closed last weekend. Except for right after Sept. 11, 2001, that is unprecedented. Many local theaters are offering money back on your purchases, offering to exchange your tickets for a later performance, or inviting you to donate to them.
This is a very difficult time for theaters that depend on the summer season to stay alive. They still have to pay actors; they already have spent money on royalties, sets, programs and all the things people expect when they attend the theater. Hopefully, you can plan for a later time to see your favorite shows.
We are so fortunate to have an abundance of live theater productions within a comfortable drive from where we live. This means we don’t need to go through the hassle and expense of traveling to New York or driving to Philadelphia, dealing with traffic and parking.
In this story, I will provide you with information on area Equity (professional) theaters. Hereafter, I will write about our local community theaters. Keep this article handy for later in the spring or early summer when you should be able to attend, but be sure to call the theaters before showing up. First, the professional theaters:
Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope is a historic theater giant, which was about to launch a rich summer season of shows beginning with a world premier musical, “Other World,” said to be fanciful, joyful and fantastical; it has been postponed indefinitely.
The very funny “I’m Not Rappaport” is scheduled to play May 15 through June 13; “The Addams Family,” a musical comedy, June 6 to Aug. 1; “Dames at Sea,” a musical comedy, Aug. 7 through Sept. 5, and “Avenue Q,” a musical parody, Oct. 2 through Nov. 1. The final production of the 2020 season is Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Nov. 18 and through Jan. 3.
With its beautifully re-done theater and recently added restaurant (The Deck) overlooking the Delaware River, BCP has been enjoying outstanding accolades. Visit Buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121 for information.
The Bucks County Center for The Performing Arts, a much younger, but mighty theater group led by Howard Perloff, is preparing to present live theater for its fourth season in the auditorium on the campus of Delaware Valley University in Doylestown.
BCCPA likely will wow its audiences with its production of “South Pacific” from July 30 to Aug. 16. Because of the size of the cast, the royalties and production costs, “South Pacific” seldom is performed professionally in the area and should be a treat.
Book-ending “South Pacific” are two delightful smaller shows. The first is a sweet, entertaining play with music, “How the Irish Were Invented,” June 24 to 28, and the closing show is the very funny “Cooking With the Calamari Sisters,” July 22 to 26. Children’s theater runs concurrently. Contact 215-297-8540 or buckscountycpa.org for information.
Bristol Riverside Theatre sits on the Delaware River in re-born Bristol. Its current season nearly is finished, since the theater produces mainly through the winter months. The current show, “Cabaret,” is postponed with the intention of re-opening in mid-April. Then, there are some special events planned, including children’s theater during the summer. Visit brtstage.org for information.
In Ambler, Act II Playhouse at 56 Butler Ave., continues to produce excellent theater with Tony Braithwaite at the helm as director, producer and often actor. Visit ActIIPlayhouse.com or call 215-654-0200 for information.
Montgomery Theatre, 124 N. Main St., Souderton, produces fine professional theater under the astute eye of Tom Quinn, founding producer-director-actor. Visit MontgomeryTheatre.com or call 215-723-9984 for information.
Just across the Delaware River is nearby Passage Theatre at the Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 E. Front St., Trenton, N.J., where the professional theater company has produced a broad spectrum of work, specializing in and developing and premiering new work by upcoming playwrights. Call 609-392-0766 for information.
McCarter Theatre on the Princeton University campus, is known far and wide for its large shows, road shows, and innovative theater. Presently, McCarter is closed until further notice. While there is a summer season of plays, the big, highly regarded productions are presented in the fall, winter and spring. Contact 609-258-2787 for information.
Watch next for inspiring stories of local and nearby community theaters where your family and neighbors perform. Most of them also are closing for at least a month. Call before going to any theater.