Irving — For its 24th season, Lyric Stage is doing something it hasn't done much of since its first decade: Two world premeires in one season. Lyric built its name on new musicals and then transitioned to preserving American musicals when it started its full-orchestra revivals nearly a decade ago. Since then, brand new musicals have been sparse, with the exception of Blue Roses in 2014.
In the 2016-17 season, two new works will premiere in the spring, both with country/Texas roots. First is Quanah, about Quanah Parker, starring and with music, lyrics and book by country music star Larry Gatlin. Quanah is about Commanche chief Quanah Parker and his mother Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped as a girl and raised by Commanches. It runs April 28-May 7, 2017.
The other new work is Pure Country, based on the 1992 film starring George Strait and Lesley Ann Warren. This title has been floating out there for at least 10 years. It was going to open on Broadway in 2009, and regional producers were talking it about it before that. With music by Steve Dorff, lyrics by John Bettis and book by Rex McGee, who wrote the movie screenplay, the story is about a country music star who walks away from the limelight to discover himself, and music, again. It runs June 9-18, 2017.
Lyric's season opens with a classic, Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, with full orchestra (Sept. 8-18, 2016). Between that and the premieres are two concert stagings: Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing, a political satire that was the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama, running right before the presidential election (Nov. 3-6, 2016) and a concert of Jerry Herman's Mame (Jan. 26-29, 2017).
The complete Lyric Stage 2016-17 season is:
- Camelot: Sept. 9-18, 2016
- Of Thee I Sing (concert staging): Nov. 3-6, 2016
- Mame (concert staging): Jan. 26-29
- Quanah: April 28-May 7
- Pure Country: June 9-18
All shows are in Carpenter Hall at the Irving Arts Center. For subscription info, call 972-252-2787 or visit www.lyricstage.org.