Multi-platinum Country music star Lorrie Morgan has been cast in the Broadway-bound production of the movie “Pure Country,” based on the eponymous film and book, producers Randall L. Wreghitt, Chris Presley and Ellen Rusconi announced today.
Morgan joins fellow Country music star Joe Nichols to headline the new musical that is expected to open on Broadway in early 2010.
Nichols takes on the role of ‘Rusty’ [‘Dusty’ in the movie], which was made famous in the film by George Strait. Morgan now joins him to play the role of ‘Lula,’ Rusty’s ruthless manager, which was created on film by Lesley Anne Warren.
“The ‘Pure Country’ family is absolutely overjoyed to welcome Lorrie Morgan,” producer Wreghitt said.
“To have a Country music star of her caliber sets the artistic bar high and brings additional authenticity to the show. The combination of Joe Nichols and Lorrie Morgan promises to be a dream collaboration for Country music fans and for everyone who sees the show. We couldn’t be more excited and proud to bring PURE COUNTRY and Lorrie Morgan to Broadway.”
Morgan was thrilled: “I never thought my life’s path would take me to Broadway, but when I heard they were creating a musical based on one of Country music’s best-loved films, I knew I had to be part of it,” Lorrie said. “I’m very excited about making my Broadway debut and becoming part of the Theater community. I’m also looking forward to working with Joe Nichols. He’s an amazing talent and I hope Country fans come on up to the big city to see us!”
According to show producers, Morgan began her career at a young age, making her first appearance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at age thirteen and later charting her first single in 1979.
Her career took off in 1989 with the hit single “Trainwreck of Emotion.”
The daughter of the late Country legend George Morgan, the legacy followed up with a chain of Billboard chart-topping singles including “Five Minutes,” “What Part of No” and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” She’s recorded almost a dozen studio albums since, and was the first female Country star to have three consecutive albums certified platinum. She was named Female Artist of the Year four times by the TNN Music City News Country Awards. Her newest release, the upcoming A Moment in Time, is expected to hit stores in October.
The musical boasts a powerhouse Creative Team: Film and Theater writer and director Peter Masterson, best known as the co-writer and co-director of the hit Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (and co-author of the hit film), will direct and co-author the Book. Three-time Grammy nominee and six-time Emmy nominee Steve Dorff, who has written nine #1 songs and 15 Top Ten hits, will compose the Music. Two-time Emmy nominee, 3-time Grammy nominee and Golden Globe and Oscar nominee John Bettis, whose songs have sold over 250 million records worldwide (writing everything from George Strait’s “Heartland” to Madonna’s “Crazy for You”) is writing the Lyrics. Rex McGee, a protégé of the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, wrote the original Warner Brothers film Pure Country, on which the new musical is based, and co-wrote the musical’s Book with Masterson.
Sometimes fame and fortune aren’t enough. Rusty (Joe Nichols) is a Country music superstar at the height of his career with all the high-stakes pressures that come with it. When the pressure takes its toll, he abandons his overblown concert tour, and his search to find himself – and the love he left behind – begins. “Pure Country” is about the price of fame and one man’s journey home.
Complementing the musical’s Creative Team is an top-notch art department and costuming team including Tony Award-winning scenic designer Derek McLane (33 Variations), three-time Tony-nominated costume designer Ann Roth (a staggering 77 Broadway shows including the original The House of Blue Leaves, Singing’ in the Rain and The Odd Couple), Tony-winning lighting designer Kevin Adams (Spring Awakening, Passing Strange) and the Tony Award-nominated sound designers Acme Sound Partners (for Hair, plus In the Heights, La Bohéme and Spamalot). Music Director is Eugene Gwozdz (Oklahoma!, The Full Monty).
Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.