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Harrington Park Actress Stars In World Premiere Theater Production

Beth Leavel of Harrington Park.
Beth Leavel of Harrington Park. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — Borough resident and professional New York City actress Beth Leavel is taking the stage at Millburn's Paper Mill Playhouse next month for the world premiere of "The Bandstand."Leavel, as Mrs. Adams, and Paper Mill's company will bring a new score of 1940s swing music and storyline to the stage on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Directed by Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler ("Hamilton," "Bring It On," "In the Heights"), "The Bandstand" is a musical-comedy telling the story of a mismatched group of military veterans who band together to compete in a New York City radio contest.

"I'm a really lucky girl," said Leveal, who won a Tony Award in 2006 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She was nominated again in 2010.

She made her Broadway debut in 1984 with "42nd Street," and appeared in its revival, as well as in "Baby It's You!," "Mama Mia," "Young Frankenstein" and six other productions.

"One of the reasons I was so excited and so interested in ["The Bandstand"] is because it's a new musical," she said. "It's a real privilege, and that opportunity doesn't come along a lot... so I jumped at it."

After 30 years of performing, this will be Leavel's first world premiere at the Paper Mill, which has popularized new musicals including "Newsies" and "Elf."

"It's a creative process learning what works, the structure, how your character fits in and what voice your character should have," she said. "They're discoveries. "And that's what's always exciting."

"The Bandstand" will run at the Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week — Wednesday through Sunday — for eight weeks through Nov. 8.

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