Shucked, the new musical comedy that captures the heart of the flyover states, opened Tuesday night (April 4). The musical is produced by Sandbox Entertainment’s Jason Owen and Broadway producer Mike Bosner.
This tale from the heart of the heartlands features music and lyrics by Grammy award-winning songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. On stage at New York City’s Nederlander Theater, Shucked is helmed by Tony winners, with a book written by Robert Horn and direction by Jack O’Brien.
“The truth about this kind of entertainment is it should make people feel good,” says Owen. “You can make people think or look at their values with a smile on their face just as easily as you can by being serious. But where the world is right now, people need to come together, to laugh and honestly recognize that Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio or even Arkansas where I’m from is as much a part of America as Wall Street or Hollywood—and Shucked is about bringing all these people together.”
Nashville and New York’s stars were celebrating the opening together, including Kasey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Stokes, Little Big Town, Kristin Chenoweth and Susan Sarandon.
The recently released track “Independently Owned,” sung by Alex Newell who plays Lulu, received the night’s first standing ovation and is already turning into a breakout hit.
The talents of John Behlmann, Kevin Cahoon, Andrew Durand, Gary Henson, Caroline Innerbichler and Ashley D. Kelley round out the main cast of Shucked. Joining them onstage are Jimmy Brewer, Audrey Cardwell, Dwayne Clark, Rheaume Crenshaw, Jaygee Macapugay, Scott Stangland, Yasmeen Sulieman, Quinn Vanantwerp, Miki Abraham, Ken Clark, Traci Elaine Lee and Alan Wiggs.
Shucked has already amassed rave reviews, with Variety declaring, “with its exuberance, heart and non-stop yucks, Shucked is the surprise delight of the season.” Time Out New York gave it four out of five stars, citing, “nods to Michael Bennett and Tommy Tune, and roll out the barrels later for the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ showstopper ‘The Best Man Wins.’” The New York Post crowned it, “The best and funniest new musical on Broadway!,” while Broadway News wrote, “The riotous new work, with a book by [Tony winner] Robert Horn, nabs acoustic inspiration from country music and tonal humor from shows like The Book of Mormon and Tootsie.” Entertainment Weekly shared, “Years after Hamilton reimagined the Founding Fathers as nonwhite actors fluent in hip-hop, Shucked tells a different kind of American fairy tale…its refreshing embrace of diversity and unapologetically corny sincerity can definitely put a smile on your face.”
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