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, caused quite a stir in the news. 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.
* Lonny Price (A Class Act) directs 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 production features a mix of popular country-western music and some original work as well. Among the composers and lyricists are Jeff Blumenkrantz, Bob Stillman, Danny Arena, Sara Light, Lauren Lucas, Jerry Silverstein, Martie Maguire, Wayland D. Holyfield, Bob Lee House, Carl L. Byrd, Pevin Byrd-Munoz, Luke Reed, Roger Brown, Jerry Chestnut, Marcus Hummon, Clint Black, James Hayden Nicholas, Tommy Conners, Skip Ewing, Charles Daniels, Tom Crain, Fred Edwards, Taz DiGregorio, Jim Marshall, Charlie Hayward, Wanda Mallette, Patti Ryan, Ronnie Dunn, Bob Morrison and the production's musical director-conductor Jason Robert Brown.
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.
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.