Bucks County Playhouse producers Robyn Goodman, Alexander Fraser, Josh Fiedler, and Stephen Kocis have announced full casting for the star-studded revival of Robert Harling’s saucy Southern comedy, “Steel Magnolias” directed by four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason.
The cast features Clea Alsip (“Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” at Bucks County Playhouse) as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, Lucy DeVito (Nora and Delia Ephron’s “Love, Loss and What I Wore”) as Annelle Dupuy-Desoto, Elaine Hendrix (FX’s “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”) as Truvy Jones. They join previously announced Patricia Richardson as M’Lynn (“Home Improvement”), Susan Sullivan as Clairee Belcher (ABC’s “Castle”) and Jessica Walter as Ouiser Boudreaux (“Arrested Development”).
“Steel Magnolias” will begin previews at Bucks County Playhouse (70 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA) on May 27 with an opening night scheduled for May 28 and will run through June 18. This star-studded Southern comedy kicks of the 2016 season after a highly successful 2015 season with two productions heralded by The Wall Street Journal as among “The Best Theater of 2015.”
At Truvy’s Beauty Salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana the hair is big and the gossip is juicy. While their coifs are perfected and daily lives debated, six distinctly different women forge a unique bond of sisterhood — one that even when put to the test, only grows stronger. Infused with heart and humor, “Steel Magnolias” is a hilarious story of love, loss, and enduring friendship.
Four-time Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Marsha Mason returns to direct for the second time on the Playhouse Stage. Mason previously directed Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two” at Bucks County Playhouse. She is not the only member of the production making a return.
Having earned acclaim and a new generation of fans for her recent television appearances as Lucille Bluth in “Arrested Development” and for voicing the role of Malory Archer on the popular FX animated series “Archer,” Jessica Walter, a Golden Globe nominee for “Play Misty for Me,” is returning to the Playhouse where she first appeared onstage as a teenager.
“I am truly excited to be returning to the place where I started my career. At 17, I apprenticed at Bucks County Playhouse and it was there, in a role in Paddy Chayefsky’s play ‘Middle of the Night,’ that I got my Actors Equity card,” says Walter. “I really look forward to getting to working with Marsha Mason and a talented cast on Robert Harling’s funny and moving play.”
Walter will star opposite Golden Globe and Emmy nominee, Susan Sullivan, who is familiar to audiences for her long-time roles on “Falcon Crest” and “Dharma & Greg” and is currently seen on ABC TV’s “Castle.”
“I am delighted to return to my theatre roots — especially at the iconic Bucks County Playhouse … cradled in the lush beauty of New Hope, Pennsylvania,” says Sullivan. “What could be more enlivening!” Sullivan and Walter are joined by Patricia Richardson who is best known for her role as Jill Taylor on the TV sitcom “Home Improvement.” Richardson garnered four Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for this role, and went on to have recurring roles in “The West Wing” and “Strong Medicine,” for which she received two Prism Award nominations. Richardson also boasts a formidable Broadway career, originating roles in Michael Weller’s “Loose Ends” and Beth Henley’s “The Wake of Jamie Foster.”
Gabe Weissman will co-direct with Mason. Lauren Helpern is scenic designer with lighting design by Gina Scherr and costume design by Nicole Moody. Matthew Given serves as sound designer. Bucks County Playhouse will offer discounted preview performances of “Steel Magnolias” on Friday, May 27 at 8 pm and Saturday, May 28 at 2pm. Tickets to preview performances are only $30. Opening night is Saturday, May 28 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $40-$84 plus fees.
The production will play the following schedule: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Single tickets to “Steel Magnolias” are on sale now. For full details, and to purchase tickets, please visit buckscountyplayhouse.org, call 215-862-2121, or visit the box office at 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA.