The musical — set to begin performances at the Broadhurst Theatre Feb. 27 prior to a March 27 opening — is based on the 1980 film of the same name. The libretto is co-written by Aaron Latham, who co-penned the screenplay for the movie that starred Debra Winger and John Travolta.
The score is "collected from a bunch of different sources," Price explained. "The first is the film, we also have what I'm calling 'Country-Western Modern Classics' or 'Modern Country-Western Classics.' And in addition to that I think we're up to 11 original songs by a bunch of people."
Among some of the country songwriters included are Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn), Shania Twain, Clint Black, Charles Daniels (of The Charlie Daniels Band) and the team of Wanda Mallette, Patti Ryan and Bob Morrison, who penned the film's hit standard, "Lookin’ For Love."
Discussing the mix of old and new music, he revealed, "When I inherited the job from Phil Oesterman [the co librettist-director who died unexpectedly in 2002], it was mostly country-western songs aside from the film songs. The problem with just using country-western songs is that they don't have the specificity to reveal character that we needed because they're written, obviously, not for this story. And [composer] Jason [Robert Brown has] managed to write a bunch of songs that are very country, as did Jeff Blumenkrantz, who wrote three songs, very much feel like the world of that country western theme."
Composer-lyricist Brown (a Tony Award-winner for Parade), who handles a number of tasks for the production (including arranger, orchestrator, composer and musical director) gets his own moment to shine — as a singer — in the show's entr'acte. "I have a song that I sing myself at the top of the second act called 'That's How Texas Was Born' which is just to introduce the band and set the audience up for a good time," Brown explained. The complete songlist is as follows: (order and songs subject to change)
"Lookin’ For Love" by Wanda Mallette, Patti Ryan and Bob Morrison
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.