Lonny Price, who co-wrote, staged and starred in Broadway's A Class Act, will direct the Broadway bound musical Urban Cowboy, producer Chase Mishkin said.
Price steps in after the death of original director and co librettist Phillip Oesterman.
Oesterman, 64, was found dead in his home in Ft. Myers, FL, the morning of July 30. A heart attack was later given as the cause of death. He co-wrote the Urban Cowboy libretto with Aaron Latham, screenwriter of the 1980 film of the same name. The show will use songs made famous in the film of the same name, plus offer interpolations.
The production is set to open a pre-Broadway engagement at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida in November. Newcomers Matt Cavanaugh and Caroline McMahon will play the leads of Bud and Sissy.
Mishkin also said that the role played in workshops by B.J. Crosby would have to be recast, since the actress has gone into Harlem Song in New York City. Auditions will be held in September. Price's other directing credits include an Off-Broadway revival of The Rothchilds and The Matchmaker at the Roundabout Theatre Company. He also directed the 2000 production of Finian's Rainbow which toured the U.S. but failed to come into New York. On stage he has acted in Falsettos and Merrily We Roll Along (in a performance preserved on the cherished-by-fans cast album). He also appeared in the Broadway musical, Rags.
The new stage musical production of the 1980 film has its premiere at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Nov. 5-Dec. 1.The new show concerns a honky tonk bar, a mechanical bull, and male ego.
"The story takes place in Gilley's bar, the evening watering hole of the newly prosperous rig workers during the oil boom of the '70s," according to the Coconut Grove announcement. "It's a place rife with lots of laughs, personal drama and sexual tension — and as the song depicts — it's the place where everyone goes 'Lookin' For Love.'"
Songs in the show include "Could I Have This Dance," "Orange Blossom Express" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The original soundtrack went triple platinum.
The new musical received a workshop Dec. 6-7, 2001, at downtown's Manhattan's Westbeth Theatre Center. The Cowboy workshop also featured Sandy Duncan (Peter Pan), playing Aunt Corene opposite Reathel Bean's Uncle Bob, Tom Zemon as the villainous Wes (the Scott Glenn part) and Smokey Joe's Cafe alum B.J. Crosby as Jesse. The latter, owner of the honky tonk club Gilley's is a new character created expressly for the musical.