Penned by Jessie McCormack, Journey to Dollywood centers on Jolene, "a waitress who idolizes Dolly Parton, her rival co-worker, and their eccentric boss, [who] are all changed forever when a stranger's car breaks down in their sleepy Southern town," press notes state.
McCormack submitted a copy of the play to Dolly herself, who enjoyed the script so much, she lent her talents for a voice-over in the play. McCormack visited Parton in her Nashville, Tennessee recording studio to meet the inspiration for her production.
"It's a play about courage," explains playwright McCormack, who also plays Jolene in the comedy at the Matrix Theatre. "Dolly Parton is a symbol of hope. She's the 'American Dream' personified, a person who struggled against all odds to get where she is today. In the play, Jolene's desire to travel to Dollywood is a metaphor for taking a leap of faith and going for what you want in life."
The cast for Journey to Dollywood also includes Melissa Greenspan as Cici, Jolene's ditzy co-worker; Erik Van Wyck as Manny, their idiosyncratic, Brooklyn born-and-bred boss; and Henry Gummer as Josh, the unassuming outsider who stumbles into this strange, funny world.
McCormack's other work, Spine, was produced both in New York and Los Angeles. Excerpts from Spine will be included in the upcoming book "The Best Women Monologues of the Millennium" from Applause Books. Atlantic Theater Company member Rod McLachlan directs the production, with a creative team including set design by Keith Mitchell, costume design by Sharell Martin, lighting design by Kimberly Negrete, as well as projections and sound design by Steve Altman. Racquel Lehrman/Theatre Planners produces for Onomatope Productions.
Journey to Dollywood runs Sept. 13-Oct. 26 at the Matrix Theatre, located 7657 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA. For tickets, call (323) 960-4418 or visit www.plays411.com/dollywood.