HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. This spectacular musical biography of the legendary singer-songwriter begins previews in the Playhouse’s Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Nov. 3 and continues through Dec. 23.
The journey starts in the backwoods of Alabama and winds up at center stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Featuring more than 20 of the singer’s most popular songs, including “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Lost Highway is an honest and mesmerizing portrait of the drifting cowboy who became one of the most influential country artists of all time.
The highway of Williams’ life was an infamously brief one, ending in the backseat of his powder blue 1952 Cadillac convertible, either late New Year’s Eve 1952 or early New Year’s Day 1953. He left Montgomery, Ala., on Dec. 30, 1952, with a college student hired to drive him to concert dates in Charleston, W. Va., and Canton, Ohio. Due to an unusual Southern snowfall, the journey was a series of delays, with Hank’s death occurring between Knoxville, Tenn., and Oak Hill, W. Va., where he was officially declared dead.
Nearly 60 years after his death, Hank’s legacy still runs strong. Of the mere 30 singles released during his lifetime — and five released posthumously, including the iconic “Your Cheatin’ Heart” — 11 went to No. 1. His songs have been recorded by countless artists of diverse musical genres. Hank and his record producer, Fred Rose, were two of the first three country music figures inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, and his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 acknowledged his crossover influence.
The Hank Williams Memorial Lost Highway, a portion of I-65 in Alabama, was dedicated in 1997. Bob Dylan, who lists him as a major influence, spearheaded the 2011 release of The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, previously unheard lyric compositions from his songwriting notebooks set to music by such artists as Dylan, Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and granddaughter Holly Williams.
The cast of HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY includes Peter Oyloe as Hank Williams, Mississippi Charles Bevel as Tee-Tot, Annie Fitzpatrick as The Waitress, Sally Mayes as Mama Lilly, Steven G. Anthony as Hoss, Brian Gunter as Jimmy (Burrhead), H. Drew Perkins as Leon (Loudmouth), Jason Edwards (Smoke on the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas: More Smoke on the Mountain) as Fred Rose (Pap), Russ Wever (Always… Patsy Cline) as Shag and Morgan Hallett (Love, Janis) as Audrey Williams.
Randal Myler (Love, Janis; Appalachian Springs; Always … Patsy Cline), who co-authored and directed It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, will direct. Other members of the production team include Musical Director Dan Wheetman, Set Designer Vicki Smith, Costume Designer Gordon DeVinney, Lighting Designer Don Darnutzer and Sound Designer Timothy J. Ryan. The Production Stage Manager is Jenifer Morrow.
Prices for HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY range from $30 – $80, depending on day and seat location and are subject to change. Tickets are just $30 for the preview performances at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. The official opening night is Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there is no performance on Thursday, Nov. 22. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets to HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY are on sale now. For more information, call the Playhouse box office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit http://www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for TDD accessibility.
The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.
The Playhouse is supported, in part, by the generosity of the tens of thousands of individuals and businesses that give to ArtsWave.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Meet the Artists
These free programs allow audiences to interact with cast members and others associated with the production following the show.
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21
Karlo’s Bistro at the Playhouse offers full-service dining prior to most evening performances. Dinners include salad, entrée and dessert. Reservations are required by noon on the day of the show. The price is $27. Karlo’s Casual Fare offers busy theatre patrons an alternative light, quick bite prior to the show. Options include salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta and desserts. No reservations are required. Credit cards are now accepted.
Production Sponsors: Clark, Schaefer, Hackett and Company
Honorary Producers: Richard and Teddie Curry
The 2012-2013 Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Series is presented by The Heidelberg Distributing Co.