Posted by Bruce Miller
I've always loved the pop song Bus Stop by the Hollies. It was part of the soundtrack of my first romance. Ann Bristow and I started dating on Valentine's Day 1966, and by August we had exchanged high school rings and were officially going steady.
Bus stop, wet day, she's there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus go, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella
All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella we employed it
By August she was mine
Sondheim lyrics they ain't.
The song has nothing whatsoever to do with the classic American play Bus Stop by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright William Inge. Bus Stop the play will open at Hanover Tavern on November 27, playing throughout the holidays.
The plots of the play and the song, however, are certainly similar. Weather conditions bring boy and girl into close proximity with each other. By the time the bus goes, the girl has decided to stay and romance is in the air.
Our production of Bus Stop will be directed by Amy Berlin, who last manned the helm for Shirley Valentine. Terrie Powers and David Powers, who have co-designed every Tavern set since our return, are again creating this slice-of-Americana set, with lights by Slade Billew and costumes by Marcia Miller Hailey. Jonathan Hardison, who last acted with us in The Man Who Came to Dinner, will serve as Fight Choreographer. Tiffany Shifflett is providing stage management. Chase Kniffen is our Production Manager for Hanover Tavern.
Amy has assembled a top drawer cast.
Alia Bisharat will play Cherie, the Kansas City "chanteuse" who catches the eye of Bo Decker, a lovesick and decidedly not worldly wise ranch hand played by Jonathan Conyers. Alia and Jonathan are the two fresh-faced lookers in the top right photo.
Bill Brock is Carl, the driver of the bus that unloads our entire cast into a rural Kansas bus stop and diner in the midst of an unseasonably early blizzard. The object of Carl's affections is Grace Hoyland, the owner, chief cook and bottle washer of the roadside diner, played by Jacquie O'Connor.
Grace's teenage waitress, Elma Duckworth, is played to wide-eyed perfection by Emily Bradner. She catches the roving (lecherous?) eye of Dr. Gerald Lyman, an aging professor much too old to be casting his gaze upon teenage girls. Dr. Lyman is played by Christopher Dunn, last seen at Barksdale Willow Lawn in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Keeping watch over this diverse group of wayfaring strangers is the local sheriff Will Masters, played by Michael Hawke (The Full Monty, Mame), and Bo's mentor and best friend, Virgil Blessing, played by Eric Williams (Smoke on the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas).
I love this funny, heartwarming, holiday play about finding ourselves in the love we find in others. We're now taking reservations for individuals, families and groups. Hope you'll join us for this colorful and charming American classic from 1955!