New Urban Cowboy Musical — Now All Country Songs — Readies for 2007 Tour

News   New Urban Cowboy Musical — Now All Country Songs — Readies for 2007 Tour
A private reading of a revised Urban Cowboy, the musical take on the 1980 film, was held April 6 in New York City. The reading proceeds a forthcoming 15-week tour to begin in 2007.

Windwood Productions presents the new edition of the musical with Paula Sloan (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers tours) slated to direct and choreograph. The updated version replaces the original score composed for the Broadway run with 22 country-western hits.

Co-writer of the original screenplay Aaron Latham, who shared credit for the Broadway book of Urban Cowboy with the late Phillip Oesterman, has made revisions to the libretto with Paul Bartz. Latham's wife, "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, narrated the work at the reading.

Bob Durkin directed a cast that included Jason Robert Winfield (as Bud), Caitlin Mulhern (Sissy), Patrick Cogan (Uncle Bob), Happy McPartlin (Aunt Corene) and Michael Rader (Wes). Jon Rosen served as musical director.

Songs by Clint Black, The Charlie Daniels Band, Dixie Chicks, Travis Tritt, Shania Twain, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith and Anne Murray are all featured in the musical take on the film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.

Among the popular songs featured are "Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places," "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys," "Boot Scootin' Boogie," "Friends in Low Places," "Could I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?," "Take This Job and Shove It" and "Beer for My Horses Whiskey for My Men." Casting for the tour will be announced shortly by casting director Bob Cline. The tour will run January-May of 2007 playing venues across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit


Following one wild Broadway ride, the musical Urban Cowboy closed at the Broadhurst Theatre May 18. The musical played 60 performances and 26 previews on Broadway.

The 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.


Lonny Price (A Class Act) directed Urban Cowboy with choreography by Melinda Roy. The score featured an eclectic collection of old and new music. Popular country music 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 (played on Broadway by 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.

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