LBJ Sings! The Winner, Musical About Election Fraud, to Premiere in Texas in 2007

News   LBJ Sings! The Winner, Musical About Election Fraud, to Premiere in Texas in 2007 Lyric Stage, the Dallas-area musical theatre company that mounts revivals, revisions of classics and new works, will stage the 2007 world premiere of The Winner, about a real election in the early political career of Lyndon B. Johnson.

With book and lyrics by Joe Sutton (Voir Dire) and music by Lewis Flinn (The Little Dog Laughed at Second Stage, Old Money at Lincoln Center Theater), the musical focuses on "LBJ's 1948 senate race in Texas," artistic director Steven Jones told Playbill.com.

LBJ, Lady Bird Johnson, Governor John Connolly and other historical figures are among the characters in the 13-actor show.

"The Winner tells the story of Lyndon Johnson's almost failed senate campaign of 1948," according to Lyric Stage. "If not for 202 votes cast alphabetically that mysteriously turned up very late in Jim Wells County, Johnson would have lost the Democratic primary runoff with former Texas Governor Coke Stephenson instead of 'winning' by 83 votes out of over 1 million cast."

Lyric Stage will present the world premiere in February 2007. The full season slate has not been announced. Casting and creative team for The Winner have not been announced.

The Winner came to Jones on the suggestion of Peter Hackett of the Cleveland Play House, who knew the musical. Jones said the work's development included changing the real names to fictional names in order to take more dramatic license with the story, but Jones invited the writers to go back to the real names — because the real facts and players in the events are fascinating and dramatic on their own. The musical sound of the show "is not country and western," Jones said, "but very regional in feel, very appropriate for Texas, it feels like Texas…"

Sutton's play Voir Dire was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His plays have been produced by Long Warf, BAM, The Old Globe, Cleveland Playhouse and elsewhere.

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Founded in 1993, Lyric Stage is Dallas County's only professional resident musical theatre company. Its home is at the 250-seat Dupree Theater in Irving, TX. Under Steven Jones' leadership it has become north Texas' most honored theatre, winning 30 Dallas Theatre League Leon Rabin Awards and a special citation from the Dallas Theatre Critics Forum for excellence and innovation. In addition to world premieres, Lyric Stage "is dedicated to the development and preservation of the American musical."

Lyric Stage presents Evita Feb. 17-March 4.

For more information, visit www.lyricstage.org.

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