The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is in Texas, starting July 11 at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. The tuner, about to begin a high profile tour with Ann Margaret in the lead, plays through July 23, care of directors Denton Yockey and Art Yelton.
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."
Tommy Tune choreographed (memorably, "The Side Step" and "The Aggie Song"). The book is by King and Peter Masterson.
A sequel to the show, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, was a quick flop in 1994. 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).
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
and Kenneth Jones