We first heard about Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musicallast summer, but now the good news that the kooky musical is going to premiere this fall at the Dallas Theater Center in September before an intended transfer to Broadway.
"It's one big love story that takes two and a half hours, so you're telling little bits of the story but can't let too much unravel at once," Clark told Rolling Stone Country last summer. She also noted the difference between writing for country radio versus musical theater: "With Broadway, you can push the boundaries, so there's some pretty risque content."
Brandy Clark has been called "country music's great lesbian hope" by AfterEllen, and she will perform at Sunday's Grammys with Dwight Yoakam, since she's also nominated for Best New Artist and Country Album of the Year for her release 12 Stories. And Shane McAnally, her frequent songwriting collaborator, is one of those rare success stories: a hitmaker in Nashville who doesn't have to hide that he's happily married to a man and raising children.
It may seem odd that the gay country music duo would collaborate to remake this unusual ode to a nostalgic television show. Hee Haw ran from 1969 to 1992 on CBS and then went into syndication and featured such legends as comedian Minnie Pearl and was hosted by country stalwarts Buck Owens and Roy Clark, but Clark and McAnally seem to understand the camp and kitsch factor of the longrunning show.
"We both grew up watching Hee Haw, so it's thrilling that we get to make our musical theater writing debut using source material that really shaped and defined so much in terms of the history of country music," Clark McAnally said in a press statement. "We're loving the collaborative process of writing for the theater too, and can't wait to get the show in front of audiences!"
The musical -- with a book by Robert Horn -- is "irreverent," and only loosely based on the TV show. Set in present day Kornfield Kounty, the show tells the story of Misty Mae, who according to a press release, is "the ultimate hometown girl, who heads out to follow her dreams in the big city of... Tampa. When she returns home to introduce her slick city-boy beau to her friends and family, everything goes haywire!"
The Dallas Theater Center has become a popular place to tryout new musicals before transferring to New York. It's where Giant, the musical based on Edna Ferber's Texas-set book, was produced before it transferred Off-Broadway to the Public Theater (and fizzled). It's also where Lysistrata Jones (from Douglas Carter Beane and his husband Lewis Finn) was re-tooled before it transferred to Broadway (and flopped).
That Hee Haw Musical begins performances at Dallas Center Theatre on September 2, where it runs through October 11, 2015.