Urban Cowboy will two-step into a Shubert owned theatre on Broadway come February 2003, producer Chase Mishkin told Playbill On-Line.
Rehearsals in Manhattan begin in January following the current tryout run that ends Dec. 1 at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida. No first preview date, opening date or venue have been announced, though February is the first-preview target. Producers Mishkin and Leonard Soloway are waiting for a venue to open up.
"We have had a great reception down there," Mishkin said of Florida. "Obviously a lot of work has been done since a year ago. The show is well set. We're gonna do some tightening and trimming and work more with the actors."
In addition to using hit country songs from the 1980 movie, the stage-show's score has three songs by Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last 5 Years), and two new songs from Jeff Blumenkrantz, whose songs have been sung by Audra McDonald. Brown is also the show's musical director and arranger.
Mishkin said it's an "eclectic" score, but added, "we have the best blend of established music and new songs you've ever heard. It's a great marriage between the Broadway and country sound." Mishkin said she was attracted to the project "because there's nothing like a household name when you're doing a show," but also because screenwriter Aaron Latham had such a strong storytelling sense. Latham co-wrote the book (based on his previous article and hit screenplay) with Phillip Oesterman, who was to direct the show but died suddenly earlier this year. Lonny Price (A Class Act) directed in Florida and repeats those duties on Broadway. The cast is not expected to change for Broadway.
Capitalization for Urban Cowboy is $4.5 million, Mishkin confirmed. The show earned solid reviews from critics in the Sunshine State.
Urban Cowboy opened at the Coconut Grove Playhouse on Nov. 16, after previews from Nov. 7. The musical was to have begun on Nov. 5, but was delayed so difficulties with the set could be worked out. Performances continue to Dec. 1.
Price's other directing credits include an Off Broadway revival of The Rothschilds 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 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 production notes. "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.