TONY-WINNER WALTER BOBBIE AND ACTRESS BROOKE SHIELDS
SLATED FOR READINGS FEBRUARY 5 IN NEW HOPE and NEW YORK on FEBRUARY 10
MARSHA MASON DIRECTS • ADDITIONAL CASTING TO BE ANNOUNCED
Kaufman and Hart’s comedy is part of the Playhouse’s legacy as a
July 1941 production featured Kaufman, Hart and Harpo Marx in the cast.
A star-studded cast led by Tony-winner Walter Bobbie and Broadway and Hollywood star Brooke Shields are featured in a benefit reading of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s iconic comedy, “The Man Who Came to Dinner” directed by Marsha Mason for Bucks County Playhouse. Performances will be held at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope on Wednesday, February 5 at 7 pm, followed by a reading in New York at the WP Theater, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street, on Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.
The benefit readings of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” continue the Playhouse Play Discovery Series. Curated by Mason, the series is designed to expose audiences to lesser known classic plays, as well as new works. In celebration of the Playhouse’s 80th Anniversary, Mason chose to take a look at the Playhouse’s storied history — featuring plays that have significant meaning to the Playhouse.
Playhouse Producing Director Alexander Fraser, Executive Producer Robyn Goodman and Producer Josh Fiedler announced the initial casting for the reading. Full casting will be announced shortly.
“One of the funniest plays ever written, I’m delighted to tackle this great play and work with Walter and Brooke on bringing it to life for these two presentations,” says director Marsha Mason.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” was first presented at Bucks County Playhouse in a July 1941 production that featured the playwrights, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, along with Kitty Carlisle and Harpo Marx in his only speaking role on stage.
In the play, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest W. Stanley are thrilled when Sheridan Whiteside, the brilliant, witty, and widely beloved radio celebrity, accepts their invitation to dinner on his tour through their little town in Ohio. When Whiteside slips on a piece of ice on their doorstep and is confined to their home for the better part of December, however, the Stanleys’ lives are unexpectedly and hilariously turned upside down.
Tony winner for his direction of the still-running, 1996 revival of “Chicago,” Walter Bobbie recently directed the UK premier of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” at Theatre Royal at Bath, Steve Martin’s “The Underpants” at The Old Globe, and the Kennedy Center’s “Footloose” which he originally directed and co-authored on Broadway 20 years ago. Other Broadway and Off-Broadway productions include “Bright Star,” “Venus in Fur,” “Golden Age,” “School for Lies,” “White Christmas,” “The Submission,” “The Savannah Disputation,” “New Jerusalem,” “High Fidelity,” “The Marriage of Bette and Boo,” “Sweet Charity,” “Twentieth Century” and “A Grand Night for Singing” among others. Mr. Bobbie served as Artistic Director of City Center’s acclaimed Encores! and on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors & Choreographers. As an actor, his career spans the original cast of Broadway’s “Grease” to the 1992 revival of “Guys & Dolls” as well as the recent Broadway revival of Shaw’s “Saint Joan.”
Star of stage, screen and television, Brooke Shields made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the hit musical “Grease”, for which she earned the Theatre World Award in 1994 for “Outstanding Debut on Broadway.” Shields went on to star in “Chicago”, “Wonderful Town”, “Cabaret” and “The Addams Family.” With a professional career that began at only 11 months, she rapidly gained fame after starring in Louis Malle’s “Pretty Baby,” the Palme D’or Award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, and the coming of age tales “Blue Lagoon” and “Endless Love.” As a model, Brooke has graced the covers of hundreds of magazines, most notably Time Magazine as the “Face of the Eighties.” Her critically acclaimed television career included The NBC hit “Suddenly Susan,” which garnered her a Golden Globe nomination. The recipient of five People’s Choice Awards, she starred in NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle,” as has made guest appearances on a wide range of hit shows including “That 70’s Show,” “Hannah Montana,” “Two and A Half Men,” “The Middle” and most recently “Murphy Brown.”
Tickets for the New Hope reading are $25. Tickets for the New York City reading are also $25 general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for the New Hope reading for $75 and includes a post-reading reception. Tickets for the New York event must be purchased in advance. Tickets are not available for purchase at the WP Theatre Box Office or at the venue the night of the show. Tickets for both evenings may be purchased at www.BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or by calling the Playhouse’s Box Office at
ABOUT BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE
Bucks County Playhouse is a year-round, nonprofit theatre that has grown to a $7 million producing organization with an annual audience of over 80,000. Founded in 1939 in a converted 1790 gristmill, Bucks County Playhouse quickly became “the most famous summer theatre in America,” and re-opened in 2012 after a multi-million-dollar restoration thanks to the efforts of the Bridge Street Foundation.
In 2014, Tony Award-winning producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler took helm of the Playhouse, which has become “one of the top regional theatres on the East Coast” (Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2019). Box office record has been repeatedly broken by signature productions of “Steel Magnolias” directed by Marsha Mason; “Million Dollar Quartet,” “42nd Street,” and “Guys & Dolls” directed by Hunter Foster; and “Mamma Mia” directed by John Tartaglia. The creative teams who come to create new productions at the Playhouse are among the most talented artists working in the professional theatre today and relish the opportunity to work on the historic stage where Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, and Jessica Walter began their careers.