Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman ("Annie Hall," "Manhattan," Jersey Boys, The Addams Family) has written the original book for the musical that will trace the lives and careers of Rogers and Evans, whose fame spanned radio, film and television. Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Big River, Tommy) will helm the musical.
Additional creative team members and star casting, along with the roles of "Trigger, Smartest Horse in the Movies and Bullet The Wonder Dog," will be announced in the coming months, according to representatives.
Menken's musicals include Little Shop of Horrors, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Newsies. Lyricist Slater has collaborated with Menken on Leap of Faith, Sister Act, "Tangled" and the ABC television musical series "Galavant."
"I've been a huge fan of Roy Rogers since I was a kid, so working on this show is a dream come true," Menken said in a statement. "Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were consummate, one-of-a-kind entertainers and I'm extremely excited to create a period-specific score that celebrates their legacy."
"The story of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans is deeply emotional with all kinds of surprising twists and turns," McAnuff added. "It's an inspirational part of American history that is ideally suited to the times we live in as an elixir for all that ails us. It dusts off old fashioned kindness and human decency in a way that I believe audiences will find magnetically compelling. It is also a great vehicle for a Broadway production as it has the spectacle of a Hollywood western along with a brainy German Shepherd and the smartest horse in the world. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to stage this extraordinary musical and partner with this all-star team of creators." Larry G. Spangler and The Spangler Group produce Happy Trails.
According to the creators, "Roy Rogers was one of the most visible stars of his era, making a significant impact across all media: film, radio, TV, and recordings – even selling over 150 million comic books to multiple generations of avid fans. Between 1945 and 1975, he starred in 88 films, seen by an estimated 80 million people a year. His British fan club boasted over 90,000 members. The top rated 'Roy Rogers TV Show' aired 100 episodes and his image was featured on over 2.5 billion boxes of Post Cereal. His journey - from an impoverished childhood in Ohio to an unlikely reign as one of Hollywood's most popular stars; the poignant and inspiring story of the family he and Dale raised, their endurance, faith and humor in the face of almost impossible obstacles – and how Trigger got to be the only horse in Hollywood ever to be billed above the title - would be a highly improbable tale if it weren’t all true."