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Wednesday, 16 December 2009 21:46

Warren Carlyle joins Broadway-bound musical PURE COUNTRY


Producers Randall L. Wreghitt, Chris Presley and Ellen Rusconi announced todaythat Warren Carlyle, the director/choreographer of the current acclaimed Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow, has joined the creative team of theBroadway-bound musical PURE COUNTRY.  Carlyle will handle Musical Staging and Choreography.  Based on the hit movie of the same name, PURE COUNTRY is on track to have its Broadway premiere as part of the 2010/2011 Season.
“On behalf of the producing team and our director Peter Masterson, we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Warren Carlyle to the PURE COUNTRY family,” producer Wreghitt said.  “For this dance-heavy, down-home show, we all know that he’s the perfect person to have us kicking up our cowboy boots!”  

In addition to Finian’s Rainbow, Mr. Carlyle most recently choreographed the Encores! production of Girl Crazy at City Center.  Additional New York credits include directing and choreographing A Tale of Two Cities (Broadway); and choreographing On the Town, Juno and Stairway to Paradise (all Encores!).  In his native England, his work has included Me and My Girl (director and choreographer, UK Tour; Best Production 2007 Theater Goers Choice Award), The Goodbye Girl (First UK National Tour), Pageant (Vaudeville Theater), Sondheim’s Moving On (Bridewell Theater) and Scrooge (European Tour). As a resident director and choreographer, Mr. Carlyle’s productions have included Jolson (London, Toronto), Fosse (London) and Oklahoma! (London). As associate choreographer he has contributed to The Producers (Broadway, worldwide and film), Oklahoma! (Broadway) and the film Center Stage.  He also choreographed the feature film Deception starring Hugh Jackman. His many Regional credits include Mame (Kennedy Center), The Pirates of Penzance (Paper Mill and Goodspeed; Best Choreography, CT Critics Circle Award) and The Baker’s Wife (Goodspeed).

PURE COUNTRY is a book musical based on the 1992 film of the same name.  The musical features an eclectic original score that draws on the sounds of New and Classic Country, Broadway and Contemporary music.  The musical boasts a powerhouse Creative Team from the worlds of Theater, Film and Country and Pop Music:

  • 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.


  • 3-time Grammy nominee and 6-time Emmy nominee Steve Dorff, who has written nine #1 songs and 15 Top Ten hits (including such classics as Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years,” Celine Dion’s “Miracle” and the Country staple and hit movie theme “Every Which Way But Loose” by Eddie Rabbit) will compose the Music. 
  • 2-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.  In the new Broadway musical PURE COUNTRY, 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.   As previously announced, Joe Nichols will take on the role of ‘Rusty’ [‘Dusty’ in the movie], which was made famous in the film by George Strait.  Lorrie Morgan will play the role of ‘Lula,’ Rusty’s ruthless manager, which was created on film by Lesley Anne Warren.

Complementing the musical’s Creative Team is an A-list Design 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). 

PURE COUNTRY is based on the 1992 Warner Brothers’ film of the same name, written by Rex McGee and directed by Christopher Cain.  It starred George Strait (in his film debut), Lesley Ann Warren, Kyle Chandler and Rory Calhoun (in his final film appearance).  The soundtrack went to #1 on the U.S. Country Album Chart and spawned two #1 Country singles, “Heartland” and “I Cross My Heart.”  Both songs were written and co-produced by Steven Dorff, the composer of the musical, and are included in Dorff’s otherwise new and original score for the musical PURE COUNTRY.

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