-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-
Tony Winners, Theater Experts, Historians, and More Come Together
For Bucks County Playhouse’s Second Annual Oscar Hammerstein Festival
APRIL 29TH – MAY 1ST
NEW HOPE, PA (4/8/2016)
NEW HOPE, PA (4/8/2016) – New Hope, Pa. – Workshops, panel discussions featuring Tony-Award winners William Finn, Robyn Goodman and Alexander Fraser, and performances by Tony-Award winners and nominees are among the highlights of the Second Oscar Hammerstein Festival lineup announced today by the Bucks County Playhouse. The festival, which celebrates the legacy of Oscar Hammerstein II and the role of lyricists in the creation of new musicals, will be held at the historic Playhouse in New Hope, PA, April 29- May 1.
Inspired by the legacy of Oscar Hammerstein and the mentorship he offered a young Stephen Sondheim, this year’s festival will feature 2 concerts, panel discussions, workshops and more. Events will be held on the stage of the historic facility as well as at Lambertville Hall.
The general public is encouraged to purchase a 3-day pass, which grants access to all events, or purchase tickets to two special concerts on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30. Information on both concerts is included in this press release.
Schedule for Festival Pass Holders:
The festival weekend will begin on Friday, April 29 with a Festival Kick-Off reception for pass holders at the Playhouse River View Café. Participants are welcome to register for the weekend and enjoy a cocktail on the Playhouse back deck overlooking the Delaware River.
The highlight of the evening is the concert, “New Songwriters Tonight!” at the Playhouse at 7:30 pm. A cast of Broadway singers, featuring Kate Wetherhead (BCP’s “Company” and Broadway’s “Legally Blonde”) will perform the work of the award-winning, rising musical theatre writer Adam Gwon (“Ordinary Days,” “String,” “Cake Off”). The event will showcase new songs and the writer’s take on how musicals are created and feature a sneak peek at Gwon’s new work, “Cake Off” which closes the Playhouse’s summer season in August. Individual tickets for this event are on sale for $25.
On Saturday, April 30 pass holders will attend a New Works Panel Discussion with Tony Award-winning Broadway composer/lyricist William Finn (“The 25th Anniversary Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Falsettos,” “A New Brain,”), Ted Chapin, president of Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Playhouse Producers Robyn Goodman and Alex Fraser and composer/lyricist Adam Gwon. The discussion will focus on the importance of great lyrics in story telling.
Saturday afternoon will feature a video lecture entitled “Out Of Her Dreams: Agnes de Mille & The Modern American Musical.” Presented by choreographer and Steps On Broadway founder Patrice Soriero, the lecture will explore how Agnes de Mille led a revolution in mid-20th century choreography by transforming the highly stylized and demure ballets of the concert stage into the narrative dances and rip-roaring production numbers of such hit shows as “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel,” and “Brigadoon.”
The afternoon will continue with a presentation entitled “Oscar Hammerstein: His Life and Times.” Noted Hammerstein biographer and Grammy Award-winning record producer Hugh Fordin will discuss Oscar Hammerstein II, contrasting his tumultuous early life in Manhattan with the tranquil home he found with his wife Dorothy at their beloved “Highland Farm” in Bucks County.
Saturday evening at 7:30 pm, the Playhouse will present a special benefit concert, “Don’t Ever Leave Me: The Love Songs of Oscar Hammerstein II” at the Playhouse. Created and hosted by Ted Chapin and featuring Victoria Clark (Tony Winner for “The Light in the Piazza”), Laura Osnes (2-Time Tony nominee for “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “Bonnie & Clyde”), Santino Fontana (Tony-nominee for “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”) and Lewis Cleale (currently in “The Book of Mormon”), the concert will focus on Hammerstein’s masterful use of words, in shows like “South Pacific,” “Carousel,” “Show Boat” and “The King and I” and how they created some of the most indelible moments in musical history. Musical direction is by Andy Einhorn (Broadway’s hit production of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”); Sarna Lapine is the director. A reception follows the performance in the Playhouse courtyard. Individual tickets for non-pass holders are $150 including the reception. Concert only tickets are $45 and $75.
The weekend will conclude with a Sunday morning Farewell Brunch. Pass holders will join Ted Chapin, the artists from the Festival, and fellow pass holders at BCP Producing Director Alex Fraser’s home (a former 18th century barn) for a buffet brunch and lively conversation with the team that made the Oscar Hammerstein Festival possible. It will be a flavorful way to end an enlightening and entertaining weekend.
Festival passes are $350. Tickets for the Saturday night benefit concert are $45-$150. Tickets to the Friday evening performance of “New Songwriters Tonight!” are $25. All tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. To purchase tickets or for more information on Bucks County Playhouse visit buckscountyplayhouse.org or call the box office at (215)862-2121.