‘Pure Country’ to open on Broadway

Cowboy musical to open in spring 2009

Broadway dons a cowboy hat next year with “Pure Country,” a new tuner adaptation of the 1992 pic that has set its sights on a Rialto berth in spring 2009.

A duo with backgrounds in country and pop music, composer Steve Dorff (Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way but Loose”) and lyricist John Bettis (Madonna’s “Crazy for You”) team to provide the score. Peter Masterson, co-writer and co-helmer of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” directs and co-writes the book with original pic scribe Rex McGee.

Score will mostly be original, although two songs from the movie soundtrack that were written and co-produced by Dorff, “Heartland” (co-written by Bettis) and “I Cross My Heart,” will be included. Both tunes hit No. 1 on the Billboard country chart in the early 1990s.

Plot centers on a country music megastar (played by George Strait in the movie) who unexpectedly exits a major concert tour, hitting the road incognito in an attempt to return to his roots.

Creative team includes Derek McLane (sets), Ann Roth (costumes), Kevin Adams (lights) and Sean Curran (choreography).

Randall L. Wreghitt (“The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” “Grey Gardens,” “Little Women”), Chris Presley and Ellen Rusconi produce.

Country music fans seem a logical demo for the Rialto to tap, although recent twangy Broadway outings haven’t caught on. A 2003 production of “Urban Cowboy” tanked, as did the Johnny Cash catalog musical “Ring of Fire” in 2006.

Another new musical with country leanings, John Mellencamp and Stephen King’s “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” will preem in Atlanta in April 2009.

No dates, theater or out-of-town tryout for “Pure Country” have been announced.

More Legit

  • Because of Winn Dixie review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Because of Winn Dixie,' the Musical

    Watching the musical “Because of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., it’s hard not to think of another show that premiered in the same regional theater 43 years ago. It, too, featured a scruffy stray dog, a lonely-but-enterprising young girl and a closed-off daddy who finally opens up. But “Winn Dixie,” based [...]


    Off Broadway Review: 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow'

    There’s something about Anton Chekhov’s whiny sisters that invites comic sendups of “Three Sisters” like the one Halley Feiffer wrote on commission for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Transferred to MCC Theater’s new Off Broadway space and playing in the round in a black box with limited seating capacity, the crafty show feels intimate and familiar. [...]

  • the way she spoke review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo

    Since the 1990s, scores of women in Juarez, Mexico have been mutilated, raped, and murdered at such a rate that some have called it an epidemic of femicide—killing women and girls solely because they are women. Isaac Gomez’s play “the way she spoke,” produced Off Broadway by Audible and starring Kate del Castillo, confronts the [...]


    Brian Cox Playing LBJ in Broadway Run of 'The Great Society'

    Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.” The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content