Tony Award-nominated original Annie star Andrea McArdle and Patrick Cassidy have joined the star lineup for Hammerstein in Hollywood, the April 22 concert in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, celebrating Sound of Music lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.
Hammerstein maintained a summer home in Bucks County, where he wrote many of his most memorable country-themed lyrics for shows including South Pacific and The King and I, and where he met and encouraged teenaged neighbor, Stephen Sondheim. The concert event is hosted by the Bucks County Playhouse.
Cassidy is the son of two stars of musicals. His mother, Shirley Jones, starred in the movie versions of Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and Carousel, plus Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. His father, Jack Cassidy, starred in the original She Loves Me, Wish You Were Here, and It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Superman! Patrick Cassidy has ample Broadway credits of his own, including replacement roles in Aida, 42nd Street, and Annie Get Your Gun. Shirley Jones was scheduled to be inducted into the Bucks County Playhouse Hall of Fame, but she is unable to attend. Patrick will accept the honors on her behalf.
"Shirley Jones sadly cannot be with us due to a fracture,” said Bucks County Playhouse Producing Director Alexander Fraser. “She is recovering and will be back on her feet soon, but her doctor has advised her not to travel. We are thrilled that her son Patrick Cassidy can be with us to celebrate Oscar Hammerstein and Bucks County Playhouse, where his parents spent a fantastic summer of 1955. We also look forward to welcoming Andrea McArdle back to New Hope, where she last appeared on the Playhouse stage in 2014. While we are disappointed that Shirley cannot be with us, Patrick and Andrea are two enormously talented performers who certainly add extra star wattage to the already extraordinary cast assembled for this concert.”
Hammerstein in Hollywood is being presented as part of Bucks County Playhouse’s third Oscar Hammerstein Festival, April 22–23. Other festival events include excerpts from a new musical The New World by composer Gary Adler (Altar Boyz) and lyricist Phoebe Kreutz. New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will share his observations on the current and past state of Broadway with a talk based on his book, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.
Ted Chapin, president and chief creative officer of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, serves as host for the benefit event, which will be directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) with musical direction by David Dabbon (Disaster!).
The Playhouse is selling festival passes for all the events. Single tickets may also be purchased for the Hammerstein in Hollywood concert. Tickets for the concert and post-show reception cost $150; concert-only tickets cost $45–$75. Passes and tickets can be ordered at Buckscountyplayhouse.org or by calling (215) 862-2121.