America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Walnut Street Theatre Announces Its 204th Anniversary Season!

July 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Walnut Street Theatre, America's oldest theatre and the State Theatre of Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce its landmark 204th season of live entertainment and its 30th season as a not-for-profit producing theatre company. This season, President and Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard celebrates his 30th year at the Walnut as well. Under his direction the self-producing regional theatre has become not only the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia, but also the most subscribed theatre company in the world, boasting over 56,000 subscribers!

Havard is proud to announce the 2012-2013 Mainstage season. During the upcoming season audiences will by treated to the American premiere of LOVE STORY, THE MUSICAL, Meredith Wilson's THE MUSIC MAN and the smash-hit GREASE! In addition, they'll experience Oscar Wilde's classic comedy AN IDEAL HUSBAND and the Philadelphia premiere of Broadway's GOOD PEOPLE.


The Walnut opens its 204th season with the American premiere if a production inspired by Erich Segal's best-selling iconic novel and one of the most romantic films of all time. This life-affirming musical will have audiences remembering the first time they fell in love. There was music in the air - and a feeling so powerful that nothing could take it away. When Oliver Barrett IV wanders into a library in search of a book, he discovers Jenny Cavilleri. They came from different worlds. He was a Harvard man, she was Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. But they fell in love. This is their story. This season opener is a celebration of love and life, LOVE STORY, THE MUSICAL (September 4 - October 21).

Celebrate the holiday season with one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time, THE MUSIC MAN (November 6 - January 6)! It's 1912 and the lovable, fast-talking con man "Professor" Harold Hill arrives in River City, Iowa promising the townsfolk that he can teach the town’s children how to play in a magnificent marching band if they buy uniforms and instruments from him. It’s all part of a big swindle, but falling in love with the town librarian wasn’t part of the deal. With classic tunes that include “Ya Got Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Till There Was You,” and the show-stopping “Seventy-Six Trombones,” THE MUSIC MAN is an irresistible, all-American musical for the entire family!

Oscar Wilde’s AN IDEAL HUSBAND (January 15 – March 3) is a wonderfully witty story of romance, insider trading and scandal! Sir Robert is a highly respected politician whose spotless reputation is the pride of his beautiful wife and adoring sister. But when an old acquaintance threatens to reveal a dark secret from Robert’s past, only his womanizing, party-loving best friend is scheming and dishonest enough to come to his aid. As the story unfolds, it’s revealed that the man thought to be perfect is flawed, the man with all the flaws must do something right and the question remains: what makes AN IDEAL HUSBAND? This timeless comedy explores morality and the greater standard that seems to fall upon those individuals in the public eye.

Next up is the Philadelphia premiere of Broadway’s hit new play GOOD PEOPLE (March 12 – April 28). The Walnut’s production takes you to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, where this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bills and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie thinks an old fling that made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out. This new American play is a smart, funny and suspenseful story about people who succeed and the GOOD PEOPLE that help them do it.

Lastly, its time for audiences to get out their leather jackets, pull on their bobby socks and take a trip to a simpler time with the original high school musical, GREASE (May 14 – July 14)! Danny is the hunky ‘bad boy’ and Sandy is ‘the girl next door.’ They meet and fall in love. But will their different worlds keep them apart? This new production features all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie, including “You’re The One That I Want,” “Grease Is The Word,” “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Greased Lightnin’” and many more! Audiences will hand-jive the night away with an all-new production that’ll make them want to stand up and shout, “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop A-wop-bam-boom!” It’s GREASE, the most “electrifyin’” musical extravaganza on stage! Be there or be square!