It's been 5 long years since the ill-fated musical version of Urban Cowboy came and went from the Broadway stage. And just two have passed since the debacle known as Ring Of Fire that sought to capitalize on late country great Johnny Cash. The former lasted a mere 60 performances (and miraculously hung on to dear life through the musicians' strike), while the latter eked out only 57 performances.
But Broadway's decidedly urbane predilections have not deterred producers Chris Presley, Ellen Rusconi and Randall L. Wreghitt from trying to infuse a twangy country flavor into the Big Apple. According to Playbill, they'll be bringing a tuner based on Rex McGee's 1992 film "Pure Country" to the Great White Way. McGee and Peter Masterson are penning the book for Pure Country that will feature a score by Steve Dorff and John Bettis.
For those of you who, like me, had never even heard of the film, Pure Country promises to tell:
...the story of Del Hubbard, a country music superstar known as “Rusty,” who cracks from the pressure of his endless life on the road, escapes his tour, and returns to his Texas stomping grounds, hoping to find what he’s missing.Masterson, who co-wrote and co-directed 1978's The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, is also set to helm the new musical.
My question is whether Masterson can do with Pure Country what he did for Whorehouse in reversing the less than stellar odds of a country-themed show scoring big on Broadway. My bet is that it will all depend on the casting -- I say bring back Reba McEntire and I'm sold on at least giving it a whirl.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).