Urban Cowboy Sets First Florida Preview for Nov. 7

News   Urban Cowboy Sets First Florida Preview for Nov. 7 Urban Cowboy, the new Broadway-bound musical based on the 1981 honkytonk film, will have its first preview at the Coconut Grove Playhouse on Nov. 7, a spokesman confirmed.

Urban Cowboy, the new Broadway-bound musical based on the 1981 honkytonk film, will have its first preview at the Coconut Grove Playhouse on Nov. 7, a spokesman confirmed.

The musical was to have begun on Nov. 5, but was delayed so difficulties with the set could be worked out.

Producer Chase Mishkin said, "It's just glitches with the mechanical parts of the set that the theatre has built that has kept us from starting previews."

Sally Mayes, Leo Burmester, Jodi Stevens, Rozz Morehead and Marcus Chait, and newcomers Matt Cavenaugh and Jenn Colella, are in the cast. Lonny Price, who co-wrote, staged and starred in Broadway's A Class Act, directs. Price steps in after the death of original director and co-librettist Phillip Oesterman.

Musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown recently joined Urban Cowboy as its new musical director and arranger. Brown will also be writing some songs for the show, which draws much of its score from the pop soundtrack of the 1980 film on which it is based. "He has already written a new song for our leading man, Bud," said producer Chase Miskin, talking from Florida. "It is musically sophisticated and lyrically sensitive."

Oesterman, 64, was found dead of a heart attack in his home in Ft. Myers, FL, the morning of July 30. 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.

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.

Burmester, who plays Uncle Bob, has appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables, Big River and Thou Shalt Not. Texas native Sally Mayes (Aunt Corene) was on Broadway in Welcome to the Club and She Loves Me (she was Tony-nommed for the latter).

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"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.