The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is out of Texas, as of July 23. The tuner, which is about to begin a high profile national tour with Ann Margaret in the lead, opened July 11 at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall and will be leaving to make way for Casa Mañana's next production, Bye Bye Birdie, playing July 28 - Aug. 6.
Based on the 1974 Playboy article by Larry L. King, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas tells the story of the legendary Chicken Ranch, run by the intelligent, responsible Miss Mona, who promises "there's nothin' dirty goin' on."
Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune directed the original Broadway production, which ran 1,578 performances and is remembered for its satiric edge, bare-chested male dancers in football gear and a handful of surprisingly humane, bittersweet country numbers by Carol Hall such as "Bus From Amarillo," "Doatsy Mae," "Girl, You're a Woman" and "Hard Candy Christmas." Tune also choreographed (memorably, "The Side Step" and "The Aggie Song"). The book is by King and Masterson.
Whorehouse creators King, Masterson, and Hall will all attend this production of their Texas tale they teamed up for over two decades ago.
Julie Johnson leads the Whorehouse cast as Miss Mona. Her credits include Broadway's Candide and Off-Broadway productions of Das Barbecu and The Rink. Smokey Joe's Cafe star B.J. Crosby takes the role of Jewel. Also in the cast are James Anthony (Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd), J. Brent Alford (Melvin P. Thorpe), David Coffee (Governor) and Lindy Heath (Doatsey Mae). Directors Denton Yockey and Art Yelton helmed this production. Designing this Whorehouse are David Yates (sets), Patty Greer McGarity (costumes), Jay Isham (lighting) and Jay Jones (sound).
Tickets are $69-$27. The Bass Performance Hall is located at Fourth St. between Calhoun & Commerce. For reservations, call (817) 467-ARTS or (214) 631-ARTS.
-- By Christine Ehren,
Kenneth Jones and Ernio Hernandez