The Broadway production, which began previews Feb. 28 and opened March 27 at the Broadhurst Theatre, has caused quite a stir. After opening to many negative reviews, producers Chase Mishkin and Leonard Soloway announced they would close the show, only to change their minds and keep the show open after "receiving many encouraging calls in support of the show and seeing audience reaction," a statement explained.
Furthermore, the Tony Award Administration Committee ruled April 24 ruling that the Urban Cowboy score would be ineligible for a Best Score nomination. Following some debate from the producers that many of the songs were written specifically for the show, the issue will be revisited at the next meeting, May 8.
Mishkin first told Playbill On-Line about the coming tour on Feb. 29, just after her initial decision to close the show. Casting and dates for the tour are yet to be set.
Lonny Price (A Class Act) directs Urban Cowboy with choreography by Melinda Roy. Aaron Latham, who co-wrote the original screenplay for the movie that starred John Travolta and Debra Winger, shares credit for the book of Urban Cowboy with the late Phillip Oesterman. Original music is by Danny Arena, Sara Light, Lauren Lucas, Jerry Silverstein, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Bob Stillman and the production's musical director-conductor Jason Robert Brown.
Urban Cowboy follows the ups and downs of the whirlwind romance of out-of town dreamer Bud (Matt Cavenaugh) and the unlucky-in-love local Sissy (Jenn Colella). The couple instantly hit it off and marry, but when a little bit of jealousy and a lot of hubris mix in, the newlyweds find their (mobile) home is not as strong as expected. Filling the Texas cityscape are a blend of characters including Bud's leathery aunt Corene (Sally Mayes) and ailing uncle Bob (Leo Burmester), the sinister ex-con Wes (Marcus Chait), the rich flirt Pam (Jodi Stevens), Gilley's rowdy manager Jesse (Rozz Morehead) and plenty of young dancing barflies.
Price told Playbill On-Line at a press event, "What this show really is about is: Amidst all of that cold petro-chemical world the way you survive is to find the person you love. A very simple message, but I think a profound one."
Tickets to Urban Cowboy at Broadway's Broadhurst, 234 West 44 St., can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200 or online at www.telecharge.com.