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Zooey Deschanel to Lead Broadway-Bound COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER as Loretta Lynn


In 1976, Coal Miner's Daughter, country star Loretta Lynn's autobiography (written with journalist George Vecsey) became a New York Times Bestseller; in 1980 the book was made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. Now, it's headed for Broadway, with actress Zooey Deschanel playing Loretta Lynn.

The announcement came on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium during Opry Country Classics Thursday night. Following the announcement, Ms. Deschanel joined the country music icon onstage for a duet of "Coal Miner's Daughter."

The onstage announcement and performance mirrored the 1979 Grand Ole Opry appearance where Ms. Lynn invited a young Sissy Spacek onstage to announce that she had chosen the actress to portray her in the forthcoming film.  Ms. Spacek went on to win the Academy Award for her performance.

"It's a long way from Butcher Holler to Broadway in New York City. I never imagined I'd see Coal Miner's Daughter on a movie screen, and now I can't believe it's going to be on a stage for people to see," says Ms. Lynn. "I'm going to be right there in the front row. And I know Zooey is going to be great – she sings and writes her own songs just like I do, and we even have the same color eyes!"

"Loretta Lynn and her music have been inspirations for me for as long as I can remember," said Ms. Deschanel.  "She is a true legend and to be chosen to play such an iconic woman is a dream come true."

Zooey Deschanel to Lead Broadway-Bound COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER as Loretta LynnZooey Deschanel and Loretta Lynn photo by Russ Harrington

Coal Miner's Daughter will be brought to the stage by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson) and Scott Sanders Productions, which have collectively brought some of the biggest hits to the stage, including Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Red, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, and the current revival of Evita starring Ricky Martin.

The creative team and dates for the production will be announced in the coming months.  The schedule will not conflict with Ms. Deschanel's current commitment to the hit FOX TV show, "New Girl," on which she stars and produces.

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Zooey Deschanel

A Golden Globe nominated actress as well as a Grammy nominated musician, Zooey Deschanel is currently the star of the hit Fox series, "New Girl," for which she also serves as a producer. Her many film credits include (500) Days of Summer opposite Joseph Gordon Levitt; Almost Famous opposite Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand; All the Real Girls, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Lead Actress; The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston; Eulogy with Debra Winger and Ray Romano; and Elf, opposite Will Ferrell. She made her feature film debut in 1999 in Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble drama Mumford.

In addition to Zooey's work on-screen, she has also earned rave reviews and popular acclaim for her collaboration with M. Ward in their band, She & Him. Their album, Volume 2 debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 and was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2010. In 2011, She & Him released A Very She & Him Christmas, an album of holiday classics. Their three albums boast 21 original songs written by Zooey. Additionally the band has sold out tours in the US, UK and Europe. Zooey earned a Grammy nomination for her original song, "So Long," written for Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh, for which she also sang the classic Sherman Brothers' theme song.

Other film credits include Failure to Launch, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Bridge to Terabithia, Our Idiot Brother, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Live Free or Die, Gigantic, Flakes, The Go-Getter, The Good Life, Winter Passing, The Happening, Abandon, Big Trouble, Your Highness, as well as the addition to the hit Sci-Fi Channel Emmy Award nominated mini-series "Tin Man."

Loretta Lynn
Singer, songwriter, and author, Loretta Lynn is one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th Century and a true country music legend. She grew up in a small cabin in a poor Appalachian coal mining community. The second of eight children, Lynn began singing in church at a young age. Encouraged by her husband, Lynn decided to pursue her interest in music.
She landed a contract with Zero Records in 1959, and her first single was "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl." To promote the song, the young couple traveled to different country music radio stations, urging them to play it. Their efforts paid off-the song became a minor hit in 1960. Moving to Nashville, Lynn worked with Teddy and Doyle Wilburn, who owned a music publishing company and performed as the Wilburn Brothers. This soon led to a contract with Decca Records. She scored her second hit with 1962's "Success," the first in a string of country songs that included "Wine, Women, and Song," "Blue Kentucky Girl," and "You Ain't Woman Enough." In 1967, she reached the top of the country charts with "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)," the first of 16 number-one hits. That same year, Lynn won the award for Female Vocalist of Year from the Country Music Association. Lynn shared her own personal experiences growing up in "Coal Miner's Daughter," which became a No. 1 country hit in 1970. The song told the story of her childhood, growing up poor but happy. In 1972, Lynn became the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.
Teaming up with Conway Twitty, Lynn won her first Grammy Award in 1971 for their duet, "After the Fire Is Gone." This song was only one of many successful duets that the pair made; other hits included "Lead Me On" and "Feelins'." They won the Vocal Duo of the Year award from the Country Music Association for four consecutive years, from 1972 to 1975, for their songs. On her own, Lynn continued to create hit songs, including 1975's "The Pill," which some radio stations refused to play. In 1976, Lynn published her first autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter. The book became a best seller, publicly revealing some of the ups and downs in her professional and personal life, especially her stormy relationship with her husband. In 1980, the film version of the book was released, starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta and Tommy Lee Jones as her husband. Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.

In the 1990s, Lynn scaled down her work to care for her husband, who was suffering from heart trouble and diabetes. She did, however, make time to work with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette on the 1993 album Honky Tonk Angels. In 2000, Lynn released her next studio album, Still Country, and penned the 2002 memoir Still Woman Enough. She also struck up an unlikely friendship with Jack White of the alternative rock band the White Stripes. In 2003, Lynn played with the White Stripes in concert, and White ended up producing Lynn's next album, Van Lear Rose (2004). A commercial and critical smash hit, Van Lear Rose injected new life into Lynn's career. The pair won two Grammy Awards for their work together-Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song "Portland Oregon" and for Best Country Album. In 2010, she revisited her signature song, recording the title track for Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn, with Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert. The album featured such artists as Kid Rock and Reba McEntire performing Lynn's biggest hits. In 2003, Loretta received the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2008, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2010 was honored at the Grammy Awards with a lifetime achievement award.

Fox Theatricals (Producer). Headed by Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson. Current Productions: the national tour of Bring It On: The Musical and Traces (New York and National Tour). Broadway credits include Red (six 2010 Tony Awards); Everyday Rapture; The Seagull; Legally Blonde: The Musical (also London, Olivier Award); 'night, Mother; Caroline, or Change; Thoroughly Modern Millie (six Tony Awards); One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Tony Award); Death of a Salesman (Tony Award); You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (two Tony Awards); Jekyll & Hyde. Off-Broadway: Trying, Lobby Hero, Three Tall Women, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. National tours: 9 to 5; Legally Blonde: The Musical; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Death of a Salesman; Jekyll & Hyde. Member of the Independent Presenters Network, Broadway producer on Spamalot, The Color Purple and Edward Scissorhands, and operator of Chicago's Briar Street Theatre. Fox Theatricals is a division of Fox Associates, owner and operator of The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, and is led by President Richard Baker and owners Robert Baudendistel and Mary Strauss.

Scott Sanders PRODUCTIONS (Producer). Scott Sanders is an Emmy and Tony Award-winning theatre, film and television producer. Broadway: Evita, starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, and Michael Cerveris; The Color Purple, with partner Oprah Winfrey; The Pee-Wee Herman Show (Broadway & Los Angeles). Additional Broadway: Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, among others. The film division is producing several movies for Walt Disney Studios, including "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," a modern fable, written and directed by Peter Hedges, starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, with a release date of August 15, 2012. The company has other musicals in development, including Houdini, with a book by Aaron Sorkin, a score by Stephen Schwartz, directed by Jack O'Brien and starring Hugh Jackman.

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