Breaking: Brand-New Production of THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS Coming to Broadway; Rob Ashford to Direct!
Those foot-stopping aggies, those friendly ladies of the night (and day), Miss Mona, Sherriff Ed Earl Dodd, the side-stepping Governor, and master media manipulator Melvin P. Thorpe will populate Broadway in the brand-new production of the Larry L. King - Pete Masterson - Carol Hall musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Tony, Emmy and Olivier Award-winner Rob Ashford, recently represented by Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Promises, Promises, will direct and choreograph.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas originated off-Broadway at the Entermedia Theatre on April 17, 1978, before moving to Broadway on June 19, 1978, at the 46th Street Theatre (now the Richard Rodgers Theatre) where it played 1584 performances.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the best pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona's cozy bordello... that is until the crusading television reporter Melvin P. Thorpe focuses his cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution.
ROB ASHFORD (Director/Choreographer) is a Tony Award-winning American choreographer and stage director who got his start on Broadway as a replacement dancer in the 1987 Lincoln Center revival of Anything Goes, starring Patti LuPone. He began working as a choreographer when Rob Marshall sent him to Buenos Aires to oversee a re-staging of Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 1998 he was Assistant to Patricia Birch in the Harold Prince production of Parade, and the following year was Associate Choreographer to Kathleen Marshall in the revival of Kiss Me, Kate. On his first time out as chief Choreographer, for Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002, Rob Ashford won the Tony Award for Best Choreography, and a nomination from the Drama Desk for Outstanding Choreography. Since then, every Broadway show he has choreographed has had a Tony nomination: The Wedding Singer (2006) with also a nomination for the Drama Desk Award, Curtains (2007), Cry-Baby (2008) which also won the Drama Desk Award, the Fred Astaire Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award, and Promises, Promises (2010), which Ashford also directed. Other choreographic projects in New York have included Tenderloin (2000), Bloomer Girl (2001), A Connecticut Yankee (2001), and Pardon My English (2004) for City Center Encores! and The Boys from Syracuse at The Roundabout Theatre (2002). Ashford has worked extensively in Europe, especially London's West End: he won Olivier Award nominations for his work in Thoroughly Modern Millie (2003), Guys and Dolls (2005), and Evita (2006). He also made his debut as a stage director there with Parade (2008), receiving Olivier nominations both for Direction and Choreography. Other London projects have included A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Once in a Lifetime (2005), both at the Royal National Theatre, and a fresh new production of Candide (2008) at the English National Opera which toured to La Scala in Milan and the Chatelet in Paris. At London's Donmar Warehouse Theatre near Covent Garden he directed A Street Car Named Desire starring Rachel Weisz and Anna Christies starring Jude Law, for which he won an Olivier Award. He continues his involvement with the London theatrical scene as the Associate Director of the Old Vic Theatre. On screen, Rob Ashford staged the musical numbers for Beyond The Sea (2004), Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin bio-pic, A Million Ways to Die in the West with Seth McFarlane, and Disney's upcoming Cinderella directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh. On television he has staged tributes to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Herman, Barbara Cook, Meryl Streep, and Shirley MacClaine for The Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2009 won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Choreography (Hugh Jackman and Beyonce Knowles, dancers) for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Ashford serves on the executive committee of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and on the Board of Trustees for The Joyce Theatre.
LARRY L. KING (Book) was the author of 13 books and seven stage plays as well as television documentaries, screenplays, short stories and magazine essays. His honors include the Stanley Walker Journalism Award, an Emmy Award for television documentary writing, the Helen Hayes and Mary Goldwater awards for the Off-Broadway stage play The Night Hank Williams Died, a National Book Award nomination for Confessions of a White Racist and a Tony nomination for co-writing the libretto of the Broadway and international musical hit The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Mr. King served as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, a Fellow of Communications at Duke University and Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He was a Contributing Editor at Harper's -- under the late editor Willie Morris -- and at New Times, Parade, Texas Observer and Texas Monthly. His most recent book is "Larry L. King: A Writer's Life in Letters, or Reflections in a Bloodshot Eye."
PETER MASTERSTON (Book) is an actor, writer, producer and director is best known for his adaptation of Larry L. King's 1982 "Playboy" magazine article The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas into a smash Broadway musical, for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical. Before Whorehouse, Masterston had an career as an actor beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing through the mid-'80s, when he shifted his attentions towards directing with the 1985 film adaptation of his cousin Horton Foote's play The Trip to Bountiful.
CAROL HALL (Music/Lyrics) songs have been performed by such extraordinary singers as Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Barbara Cook, Barbara Streisand, Lena Horne, Chita Rivera, Michael Feinstein, Mark Murphy, Mabel Mercer, Olivia Newton-John, Maureen McGovern, Miriam Makeba, RuPaul, Frederica von Stade, Kermit the Frog and Big Bird. Her classic musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas won two Drama Desk Awards for lyrics and music, received a Grammy nomination for its cast album, and entertained Broadway audiences for almost five years. It also became a popular film starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. Dolly's recording of Carol's song "Hard Candy Christmas" won an ASCAP "Most Performed Country Song" Award, and the film generated an Oscar nomination for Charles Durning, who sang "The Sidestep" as the slippery Governor of Texas. A particular joy and specialty of Carol's has been her work for children. For over ten years, she wrote songs for Sesame Street and was one of the major contributors to Marlo Thomas' ground-breaking "Free to Be... You and Me" (Emmy Award and gold album). She also contributed songs to "Free to Be... A Family," "Thanks & Giving: All Year Long," and wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Max and Ruby, which toured the country for four years. Other stage work includes: Good Sports, Paper Moon (Paper Mill Theatre), Are We There Yet?, To Whom It May Concern. Her collection of non-musical one-act plays is called The Days Are As Grass.