Bristol Riverside Theatre Announces 30th Anniversary Season

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Deborah Fleischman


Bristol Riverside Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a classic, a murder mystery, two musicals, and a heartfelt comedic family tale. The Anniversary Season features Well by Lisa Kron (winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Fun Home), Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman’s The Man Who Came to Dinner, Working: A Musical adapted from the book by Studs Terkel and featuring new music by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution.

“Our 30th Anniversary Season features a nod to our past and a vision of the future, a celebration of the best of BRT,” said Artistic Director Keith Baker.

The season opens September 27-October 16 with the quirky and adventurous play Well by Lisa Kron, author of the hit Broadway musical Fun Home. Well explores a sometimes loving, sometimes contentious mother-daughter relationship. All Lisa wants to do is tell her nice, orderly little story about growing up and how she got cured of her allergies. But her Jewish mother keeps interrupting, correcting, offering snacks to the audience, and telling her own versions of Lisa’s carefully constructed tale.

November is full of laughter with the classic Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner running November 1-20. When famous Manhattan radio star and critic Sheridan Whiteside slips, outside the Stanley home, the Stanley family has to put him up – and put up with him – over Christmas. Pompous, irascible, and cunning, Whiteside completely takes over the house for his broadcasts, encourages the Stanley kids to defy their parents, attracts assorted wacky friends, and receives loads of fan mail and strange gifts. When his faithful secretary Maggie falls for local reporter and would-be playwright Bert Jefferson, Whiteside pulls out all the stops to end the romance and keep his secretary.

The new year is full of song with back to back musicals. First up is Working: A Musical from January 24-February 12, based on the book by Studs Turkel. Nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, Working: A Musical features songs by Pulitzer and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights), Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Wicked), and folk legend James Taylor. Working: A Musical celebrates the search for meaning and satisfaction in the daily grind. Woven from the funny and poignant interviews of twenty-six real American workers, this down-to-earth yet elevating musical tells the stories of a schoolteacher, a millworker, a waitress, a mason, and a housewife, to name just a few, who sing and talk about their jobs, their hopes, and their aspirations.

Next up is the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musical Jesus Christ Superstar running March 21-April 16. This remarkable retelling of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, as seen through the eyes of his friend and betrayer, Judas Iscariot, changed the face of musical theater when it debuted on Broadway in 1971. The groundbreaking rock opera is filled with emotional intensity and explosive theatricality, and features chart-topping songs such as “Everything’s Alright,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane,” and the high-octane title song.

The season concludes with the May 9-28 run of the classic murder mystery Witness for the Prosecution by the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie. Leonard stands accused of murder and his wife could prove his innocence. But when she takes the stand she inexplicably denies his alibi sending the courtroom into chaos. In true Agatha Christie form, this classic whodunit features wicked twists and turns, emotional outbursts and quirky characters, keeping the audience guessing until the very last scene.

BRT continues to enhance the theater-going experience with pre- and post- performance programs during the run of each production, including: Post-Show Discussions (first Tuesday and Wednesday of each run); Opening Night (first Thursday of each run) featuring a post-performance reception; Friday Festival (first Friday of each run) featuring a guest speaker who provides background information on the production; Wine-Down Wednesday (second Wednesday evening of each run) featuring pre-show crudité, desserts, and wine complimentary of Got Wine?; Thirsty Thursday (third Thursday of each run) featuring unique beer selections from local breweries; and Theatre Theology (third Sunday of each run)  featuring a post-show discussion on the religious themes and issues in the production.

Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County. The theatre is the recipient of over 80 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by Theatre Philadelphia. In addition to its mainstage productions, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community, with such programs as children’s theatre, educational programming, and exhibitions of local visual arts. Entering its 30th Anniversary Season, BRT is under the direction of Artistic Director Keith Baker, Founding Director Susan D. Atkinson, and Interim Managing Director Amy Kaissar. For information, visit

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