Singing Hollywood Cowboy Roy Rogers to Ride Again on Broadway

11:50 AM PST 09/19/2013 by David Rooney
Courtesy of Everett Collection
Roy Rogers and Trigger

Marshall Brickman, an Oscar winner for his screenplay of "Annie Hall" and a Tony nominee for "Jersey Boys," is attached to the developing musical.

NEW YORK -- Marshall Brickman will lead the creative team on an untitled new musical based on the life and career of Roy Rogers, the iconic "King of the Cowboys" who headlined countless Hollywood Westerns in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Among the most heavily merchandised stars of his era, Rogers appeared -- usually alongside his wife, Dale Evans, his golden palomino ,Trigger, and his trusty dog, Bullet -- in close to 100 features during his heyday. He also headlined The Roy Rogers Show, which began as a Western radio serial before moving to television in 1951 for six seasons on NBC. The show spawned a popular comic-book spinoff.

“I’m excited to be able to introduce Rogers to a new generation -- and to re-introduce him to his older fans,” said Brickman in a statement. “At the height of his popularity, Roy had 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.”

Brickman is best known for his screenwriting collaborations with Woody Allen; he won an Oscar for Annie Hall and was nominated again for Manhattan. He received a Tony nomination in 2006 for his book for the smash hit Jersey Boys, and also co-wrote the book for the 2010 musical The Addams Family.

While no composer has been announced for the project, press information indicates that songs popularized by Rogers onscreen will be part of the show's inspiration.

Producing entities behind the musical are Roy Rogers Family Entertainment Corporation, Happy Trails and the Spangler Group. The rights deal for the project was led by Larry Spangler and Walt Hoelzel, with Bill Wolfe of International Marketing Partners heading up branding and strategic retail partnerships. The executive team also includes music and entertainment industry vets Bruce Glatman, Tad Dowd and Bob Ezrin.

No timeline for the musical has been set.

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