PURE COUNTRY the Stage Musical

Meet the Creative Team


 

The Music and Film Industry has dubbed multiple award-winning Steve Dorff an enigma who has evolved into a gifted composer in every musical field. There is no way to capture the diversity he regularly displays scoring major motion pictures, television, theater, or via an array of # 1 hit songs. In addition to winning the NSAI Songwriter of the Year award, Dorff has also been honored with more than 40 BMI, and 11 Billboard #1 awards.

Three-time Grammy nominee, his credits includes nine #1 film songs and 15 Top 10 hits, including the Kenny Rogers' classic "Through The Years", a BMI 5 million performance song, as well as "I Just Fall In Love Again ", the Anne Murray record that captured Billboard's #1 Song Of The Year honors. His many songs have been sung by some of the greatest artists of our time—Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, George Strait, Vanessa Williams and countless others.

John Bettis has written songs that have been sung by some of the most loved artists of our time. Michael Jackson, George Strait, Celine Dion, Madonna, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, The Carpenters, Julio Igelsias, Barbara Mandrell, Dionne Warwick, New Kids on the Block, Jennifer Warnes and scores of others have recorded his work. His songs include: HUMAN NATURE, HEARTLAND, TOP OF THE WORLD, YESTERDAY ONCE MORE, GOOD-BYE TO LOVE, ONLY YESTERDAY, CAN YOU STOP THE RAIN?, ONE MOMENT IN TIME, CRAZY FOR YOU, and SLOW HAND. John has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, 3 Grammies and 3 Emmys. John received the Emmy in 1988 for ONE MOMENT IN TIME, theme for that year's Olympics. He also received an Emmy for WHERE THERE IS HOPE in 2003. His list of film work runs from TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, VISION QUEST and STAR TREK V to COCKTAIL and THE GODFATHER Part III. His TV Themes include GROWING PAINS, MURPHY BROWN and EMPTY NEST.


John has pursued his love of theater for over 25 years. The musical LUNCH, which he wrote with Steve Dorff and Rick Hawkins, toured the US in 1994 and was revived in 2014 at Cabrillo Stages. John received a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Best Musical Score award for lyrics to THE LAST SESSION in 1999. SVENGALI, a collaboration with Frank Wildhorn, opened April 3, 1991 at the Houston Alley Theater. That work was awarded the prestigious D. Alton Jones grant. PURE COUNTRY, the musicalization of the hit film PURE COUNTRY, has seen several workshops in New York. Tony winner Ken Waissman, who brought GREASE, AGNES OF GOD and TORCH SONG TRILOGY to Broadway, is currently producing JOSEPHINE, a musical based on the life of Josephine Baker, for Broadway. This show is also written with Mr. Dorff.


John has served as: Chairman of the Board of the National Academy of Songwriters, Member of The Board of Directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Member of the Board of Review of ASCAP, Member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Ballet, and on the Film, Entertainment and Music Commission of the State of Tennessee.


John lives with his wife, Mary, and their two children, his most prized creations, Wyatt 10 and Conway 9, in Nashville, Tennessee

 A protege of the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, Rex wrote Warner Brothers’ PURE COUNTRY, produced by Jerry Weintraub and starring George Strait, upon which the musical is based, the Hallmark Channel’s perennial, WHERE THERE’S A WILL, starring Marion Ross and Keith Carradine, and the IMAX film, TEXAS: THE BIG PICTURE, at the Texas State History Museum in Austin.  A graduate of the USC film school, member of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Dramatists Guild, he has collaborated on his screenplays with directors Jon Amiel (BBC’s THE SINGING DETECTIVE, ENTRAPMENT), Peter Masterson (BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL), Robert Mulligan (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, SUMMER OF ‘42) and Billy Wilder (SUNSET BOULEVARD, SOME LIKE IT HOT). Rex’s current film projects include a film noir, COUNTRY DARK; a satirical comedy, WHISTLING DIXIE; a political drama set in the 1980 Soviet Union, THE LIFE OF THE PARTY, and a dark, satirical drama, ZIPLESS.

Michael Skipper has been a veteran producer of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions for nearly three decades. He has produced and or participated in over 40 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End (London) productions to date. He won the 2008 Tony Award for Best New Musical for IN THE HEIGHTS (13 nominations including, Tony Award winner; Best New Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, Best Orchestration).


Other Broadway credits include THE CRUCIBLE, for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play, (Drama Desk Award for a Distinguished Production of a Revival), ON THE WATERFRONT, PLAY ON!, and THE CIVIL WAR to name a few. He’s also participated in a variety of other Broadway shows including SOMETHING ROTTEN!, RENT, AVENUE Q, DAMN YANKEES!, SEUSSICAL, WHITE CHRISTMAS, and TABOO (with Boy George in both the London and Broadway productions), and many others.

He has also produced several award winning off-Broadway shows including: IN THE HEIGHTS, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, BAT BOY (Best Musical Off- Broadway), COBB, (Co-Produced with Kevin Spacey, Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble), SHOCKHEADED PETER, Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY, and NECESSARY TARGETS. These are just a short list of many his Off- Broadway productions. Michael also won an ASCAP award for Joe Diffie’s hit country song “A Night To Remember”, through his Nashville publishing company, Gramily Music Publishing.

Along with AEA, SAG, AFTRA, Michael is also a member of ASCAP and the Broadway League. He is also a National Arts Associate with SIGMA ALPHA IOTA. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of RATTLESTICK THEATRE COMPANY in New York City and CASA MAÑANA in Fort Worth, Texas.

John has been called a “brilliant combination of literary insight and choreo-graphic creativity.” He has staged a range of productions that include opera, musicals, plays, ballet, concerts, and workshop read- ings. His extensive background as an actor and dancer has given him a incisive dramatic perspective which has yielded stagings hailed as “stark and unflinching,” “imagina- tive and sophisticated,” and “vivid theater.” John’s productions across the United States include the world premiere of THE ASTRO- NAUT LOVE SHOW at the Kraine Theater (NYC), THE ROSE AND THE KNIFE AND LE COMTE ORY for LoftOpera, LA FILLE DU REGIMENT for Arizona Opera, CAROUSEL and SOUTH PACIFIC for Ashlawn Opera, MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES for Lexington Philharmonic, and GREEN SNEAKERS for the Southside Theatre at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Cen- ter. He choreographed the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s GREAT SCOTT, directed by Jack O’Brien, for both the Dallas and San Diego Opera. His choreography has also been seen at the Washington National, Florida Grand, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Des Moines Metro, Utah Festival, and Austin Lyric Opera Companies.

John’s first opera libretto with composer Clint Borzoni, WHEN ADONIS CALLS, was selected for inclusion in Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers show- case, and then performed in concert by operamission in NYC. John’s new collaboration with Bor- zoni, THE COPPER QUEEN, won the top prize Arizona Opera’s commission program, Arizona SPARK. He was then commissioned by Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative to create a new original work with composer Christopher Weiss. The resulting piece, SERVICE PROVIDER, premiered at The Kennedy Center in 2015. While serving as resident choreographer for the Fort Worth Opera, his productions included RIGOLETTO, SALOME, LA TRAVIATA, AMAHL AND THE NIGHT Visitors, and the world premieres of FRAU MARGOT and BEFORE NIGHT FALLS. John made his directing debut with the company with a 2009 production of CARMEN, followed by THE MIKADO and THE PEARL FISHERS. In 2010 he made his choreographic debut for the Dallas Opera with Don Giovanni. John also served on the directing faculty of the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY, where his productions have included ANYTHING GOES, CRAZY FOR YOU, THE MEDIUM, THE FANTASTICKS, THE MIKADO, LA BOHEME, GUYS & DOLLS, BRIGADOON and L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI.

Other productions include ITALIENISCHES LIEDERBUCH for Voces Intimae, THE GOLDEN APPLE for Lyric Stage, THE TENDERLAND AND COSI FAN TUTTE for The Living Opera, SEUSSICAL for Kids Who Care, SPRING AWAKENING and DOGFIGHT for WaterTower Theatre. For the Dallas- based theatre company Uptown Players, choreographed the American premiere of the Pet Shop Boys musical CLOSER TO HEAVEN, the regional premiere of ALTAR BOYZ (for which John was awarded the DFW Critics Forum Award for Best Choreography), and directed and choreographed the regional premiere of HELLO AGAIN and the American premiere of SOHO CINDERS. John is originally from San Antonio, Texas, where he performed as a principal member of the Alamo City Dance Company. He then relocated to Fort Worth, Texas and received his BFA in Theatre/Film Per-formance & Direction from Texas Christian University.

Eugene is the Music Director/Arranger for the AMERICAN DANCE MACHINE 21, and the DUKE ELLINGTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS. Eugene was the MD/Arranger for OUR GUY, CY, a musical concert tribute to Cy Coleman, starring Tony Award Winners, Randy Graff, Cady Huffman, and Lillias White which got RAVE reviews from the NYC critics; MD/Arranger for the JEROME ROBBINS AWARDS honoring Chita Rivera, Harold Prince, and Stephen Sondheim. Music Director/Pianist/Arranger for ANIKA NONI ROSE at the LINCOLN CENTER AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES; DRAMA LEAGUE TRIBUTE to PATTI LUPONE; orchestrated and arranged music for the critically acclaimed revival of IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN. Music Director/Pianist/Arranger for the hit show, THRILL ME, and the critically acclaimed 20th Anniversary Revival Production of Maltby & Shire's BABY at the Paper Mill Playhouse. BROADWAY: THE FULL MONTY and OKLAHOMA!. BROADWAY TOURS: SUNSET BOULEVARD (w/Petula Clark). Music Director/Pianist for "The Princess & The Frog" star, Anika Noni Rose, and other Tony Award Winners Donna McKechnie, Cady Huffman, Shuler Hensley, Will Chase, and Rachel York with Brent Barrett and Marc Kudisch. Broadway National Tours: SUNSET BOULEVARD (Petula Clark), THE FLOWER DRUM SONG, SWING!, COLOR PURPLE, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE WILL ROGERS' FOLLIES, and WEST SIDE STORY (Conducted and played keyboards). He has worked with many Broadway stars including Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Norbert Leo Butz, James Monroe Iglehart, Stephanie J. Block, Patti Lupone, Chita Rivera, Leslie Uggams, Andre DeShields, Lee Roy Reams, Ken Page, Patrick Wilson, Billy Porter, Shirley Jones, Betty Buckley, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Will Chase, LaChanze, Nikki James, Victoria Clark, Kelli O'Hara, Andrea McArdle, Chris Seiber, Norm Lewis, Megan Hilty, Kristin Chenowith, Valisia Lekae, John Tartaglia, Laura Benanti, Melissa Errico, Karen Ziemba, Nita Whitaker, Judy Kaye, N'Kenge, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Laura Bell Bundy.

STEPHEN DeANGELIS is proud to continue his long association with Pure Country. He has cast over 300 theatrical productions in New York City and across the United States as well as having cast over 3600 network television and radio commercials for Manhattan's leading advertising agencies.

He has had the pleasure of working with countless Academy Award, Emmy Award, Tony Award, Drama Desk and Grammy Award winners and nominees as well as some of the most recognizable performers in the entertainment industry. Stephen is the Casting Director for the upcoming Broadway revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.