NATIONAL PASTIME (Bucks County Playhouse): 60-second review


The Bucks County Playhouse unveils its stage turntable donated in the 30s but left unused. It is the perfect catalyst to launch the new comedic musical set in the same era:NATIONAL PASTIME. Based on the book by Tony Sportiello and music by Albert M. Tapper, the setting is 1933 in the struggling radio station WZBQ in Baker City, Iowa. In its hay day, WZBQ was the cream of the crop with their coverage of the beloved but now defunct minor league baseball team the Cougars. Owner Barry (Spencer Plachy) is committed to saving the station as lawyer Karen (Janine DiVita) swoops in intent on selling the company. His staff are the midst of their own affairs but remain steadfast and quickly get behind Barry as he hatches an ingenious plan to resurrect the Cougars, boost ratings, and save the station.

Director Hunter Foster and choreographer Lorin Latarro bat a 1000 on this one. The turntable was not only a feature but a true asset that made the character and scene transitions flawless. The actors were on top of their game and showed their undeniable talent. Their excellent delivery had the audience laughing throughout the show. It had it – great voices, music, choreography, humor, and acting that brought to life a story about the 30’s, the big days of radio, and our beloved NATIONAL PASTIME [Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA] April 2-19, 2015; bcptheater.org.

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About the author

Lauren Hartranft

Lauren Hartranft grew up engrossed in books, theater, and music. She daylights as a behavior consultant, which she believes helps her perceive daily life, personalities, and theater in a unique way. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie and borderline hippie who likes to garden, make her own wine, and absorb as much culture from the world around her as possible. Lauren can be reached via email at lhartranft@verizon.net.