Middletown: The Ride of Your Life now onstage at Bucks County Playhouse

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Middletown: The Ride of Your Life is now playing at Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA, until April 21. It will later transfer to Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington, DE, May 28-June 2, 2019.


Dan Clancy’s Middletown: The Ride of Your Life (sometimes appearing in the program simply as Middletown) won a Carbonnell nomination for best new work in 2017 when it was in workshop. At the Bucks County Playhouse, Middletown is appearing as one of the offerings in their Visiting Artists Series.


Simple research informs us that Middletown is a safe and quiet town in Monmouth County, NJ, where our four cast members live, meet, become friends, and weather the tides of fortune together over decades of friendship. (Or is it Middletown, Delaware? Let's say it's the former.) The cast is a starry one with an aura of unmistakable nostalgia, with all four members having had long and celebrated television careers. Cindy Williams, best known for her role on Laverne and Shirley, is Dotty, schoolteacher and mother, married to Don, played by Donny Most, well-known to many from his supporting role as Ralph on Happy Days. Don owns a pool service business, and business is very good. Didi Conn as Peg is our narrative voice who introduces the play, introduces the characters, and then steps aside to become one of the actors. Didi is well-known from her roles in the films Grease and Grease 2. Didi is a mother and the wife of Tom, played by Adrian Zmed, known for his roles on the series T.J. Hooker, host of Dance Fever, and the films Grease 2 and Bachelor Party. All four actors deliver polished, heartfelt performances. Middletown appeals to its audiences who are much like the characters portrayed onstage: middle-aged, successful people who have great careers and successful children. We follow Peg, Dotty, Tom and Don through the awkward and comedic scenes of how they met their spouses, to the two women first becoming friends through their daughters, to the women introducing their husbands into the friendship, to 911, gay marriage, and beyond.


It’s a testament to the four experienced actors and their nuanced performances that we do not miss the fact that there is no scenery; only four actors at lecterns with what appears to be scripts upon them, which are hardly looked at, all the while playing several highly emotional scenes which become riveting experiences.


If you miss seeing Middletown during their New Hope residency, make sure that you see the show when it transfers to Wilmington. Middletown is a romantic, contemporary drama with warm touches of comedy delivered by a crackerjack cast of actors.


Middletown by Dan Clancy appeared at Bucks County Playhouse from April 17-21 as part of their Visiting Artists Series. The series continues with, among other attractions, In the Mood, featuring Broadway and television star Hal Linden, April 23-27, and Well-Strung, on May 4. The 2019 season begins with the classic Dial M for Murder, May 17-June 15. For more information, visit www.bcptheater.org .


Middletown will be at Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington DE, May 2-June 2. For information, visit their website at www.middletownplay.com .

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