LONE TREE ARTS CENTER BRINGS A LEGEND BACK TO LIFE
Hank Williams: Lost Highway Brings Top Talent to the Area
LONE TREE, CO – In thinking about lives cut tragically short, surely Janis Joplin, James Dean, and Heath Ledger come to mind. But what about Hank Williams? When an overdose killed him the age of 29, Williams had lived a hundred years’ worth of life and his songs reflect that. As a songwriter and a singer, Williams changed the face of not only country music, but music in general, forever. This April, the Lone Tree Arts Center (LTAC) brings to the stage the biographical retelling of this tragic yet fascinating life in Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Tony-Award Nominee Randal Myler, co-writer and original director of the show, returns to Denver to direct a cast flown in from all over the U.S.
Lost Highway was conceived and workshopped at the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1986/87 and opened in New York at the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, an Off-Broadway playhouse, in 2002 to rave reviews. Rolling Stone said the show is, “Exhilarating! A rare achievement in musical theater!” The NY Post called Lost Highway, “the best example of a musician’s bio put on stage I’ve ever seen!” Using over twenty songs written by the late singer himself, the show turns those lyrics and the stories behind them into a stage production that highlights both the tragedy and humor of Williams’s life. During his short career, Williams released merely 35 songs; however, 11 of those hit number 1. Audiences will be treated to renditions of “Hey Good Lookin’,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and many more of Williams’ beloved songs as we travel from the backwoods of Alabama to the bright lights of the Grand Ole Opry.
Myler, author of Love, Janis and It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues among others, is thrilled to be returning to his longtime home of Denver to direct at LTAC. Myler and Musical Director Dan Wheetman were last seen at LTAC in December when they brought John Denver Holiday Concert to the stage. The cast includes a stellar line-up from Seattle to New York as well as some well-known Denver faces. Kathleen Brady and Randy Moore, both longtime members of the Denver Center Theatre Company and seen throughout Denver in a variety of performances, join the cast as Mama Lily and Pap. Acclaimed local performers Jamie Ann Romero and Rhonda Brown have been seen throughout the metro with DCTC, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, TheatreWorks, and more, earning Denver Post Ovation Awards among other honors. The title role is performed by New York-based actor and musician Ryan Nearhoff. Nearhoff has been seen on the national tours of Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver and High School Musical. He recently portrayed the title role in Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Brian Gunter (Jimmy), Drew Perkins (Leon), and Russ Wever (Shag) have all performed in multiple productions of Lost Highway among their other accolades. Legendary blues singer Mississippi Charles Bevel rounds out this cast with his portrayal of Tee-Tot.
The show runs April 4-14 at the Lone Tree Arts Center, conveniently located one mile from I-25 off the Lincoln exit. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased online at www.LoneTreeArtsCenter.org/hank or over the phone at 720-509-1000. A half-price matinee for seniors will take place April 10 at 1:30pm.
The Lone Tree Arts Center is a professional, innovative and environmentally friendly, LEED Certified venue. LTAC operates a dynamic model for the performing arts by collaborating with some of the premier Colorado performing arts companies to present their productions in Lone Tree as well as presenting national and regional tours. LTAC has quickly discovered its place as a new provider of arts education programs for children and an important meeting and event rental site for corporate, civic, private, and community arts groups.
# # #