Singing cowboy Roy Rogers will be the subject of a new Broadway musical. Oscar, Tony and Olivier Award winner screenwriter and playwright Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Jersey Boys) will lead the creative team. The show, which is yet to be titled, plans for a Broadway opening in late 2014-early 2015.
Probably best known today as the namesake of a chain of fast-food restaurants, Rogers, along with his wife Dale Evans and his horse Trigger, starred in over 100 western films and The Roy Rogers Show which ran on ABC from 1951 to 1957. He moved to Hollywood in 1930 to pursue a singing career and formed his own group The Sons of the Pioneers which recorded such hits as “Cool Water” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” and appeared in the film Rhythm on the Range with Bing Crosby and Martha Raye. He made his first film as a soloist and star in 1938 with Under Western Stars. One of the most heavily merchandised stars ever, he was second only to Walt Disney in the amount of commercial items featuring his name.
“I’m excited to be able to introduceRogersto a new generation—and to re-introduce him to his older fans,” said Brickman in a statement. “At the height of his popularity,Royhad millions of fans worldwide and reigned for decades as the embodiment of simple, honest American values. It will be interesting to contrast that ideal with the current environment of ambivalence and moral uncertainty.”