Urban Cowboy Rides Off: Broadway Musical Closes, May 18

News   Urban Cowboy Rides Off: Broadway Musical Closes, May 18 Following one wild Broadway ride, the musical Urban Cowboy will officially close at the Broadhurst Theatre, May 18 following its matinee performance. The musical played 60 performances and 26 previews on Broadway.
Matt Cavenaugh as Bud with Mark Bove in background in a scene from Urban Cowboy.
Matt Cavenaugh as Bud with Mark Bove in background in a scene from Urban Cowboy. (Photo by Paul Kolnik)

The closing announcement came just hours after Urban Cowboy garnered two Tony Award nominations for Best Choreography (Melinda Roy) and Best Original Score (for its numerous composers and lyricists.)

The Broadway production, which began previews Feb. 28 and opened March 27, stirred up a slew of news in its short run. 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 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 was revisited and reversed, May 8.

The new Broadway musical also recently made an official announcement of a national tour in the fall of 2004. The Urban Cowboy tour will be presented by Ken Gentry and exclusively booked through The Booking Group. Mishkin first told Playbill On-Line about the coming tour on March 28, just after her initial decision to close the show. Casting and dates for the tour are yet to be set. There is no word about a cast album.

* Lonny Price (A Class Act) directed 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.

The new musical featured an eclectic collection of old and new music. Popular country music by Clint Black and Brooks & Dunn were interpolated among songs from the movie — including the signature "Lookin' For Love" — as well as original works by Jeff Blumenkrantz, Bob Stillman, Danny Arena, Sara Light, Lauren Lucas, Jerry Silverstein and the production's musical director-conductor Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years.)

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.

The cast also features Michael Balderrama, Mark Bove, Gerrard Carter, Nicole Foret, Lisa Gadja, Justin Greer, Michelle Kittrell, Brian Letendre, Barrett Martin, Kimberly Dawn Neumann, Tera-Lee Pollin, Chad L. Schiro, Kelleia Sheerin and Paula Wise.

The songlist included "Leaving Home" (music and lyrics by Jeff Blumenkrantz), "Long Hard Day" (Bob Stillman), "All Because of You" (Blumenkrantz), "Another Guy" (Blumenkrantz), "Boot Scootin’ Boogie" (Ronnie Dunn), "It Don’t Get Better Than This" (Brown), "Dancing The Slow Ones With You" (Danny Arena and Sara Light), "Cowboy Take Me Away" (Marcus Hummon and Martie Maguire), "Could I Have This Dance" (Wayland D. Holyfield and Bob Lee House), "My Back’s Up Against The Wall" (Carl L. Byrd and Pevin Byrd-Munoz), "If You Mess With The Bull" (Luke Reed and Roger Brown), "That’s How She Rides" (Brown), "I Wish I Didn't Love You" (Brown), "That’s How Texas Was Born" (Brown), "Take You For A Ride" (Arena, Light and Lauren Lucas), "Mr. Hopalong Heartbreak" (Brown), "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" (Jerry Chesnut), "Dances Turn Into Dreams" (Jerry Silverstein), "The Hard Way" (Clint Black and James Hayden Nicholas), "Git It" (Tommy Conners and Roger Brown), "Something That We Do" (Clint Black and Skip Ewing), "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (Charles Daniels, Tom Crain, Fred Edwards, Taz DiGregorio, Jim Marshall and Charlie Hayward), "It Don’t Get Better Than This (Reprise)" (Brown) and "Lookin’ For Love" (Wanda Mallette, Patti Ryan and Bob Morrison).