West Virginia native son and country music star Brad Paisley’s songs are coming to life in a new way.
Auditions were held over the weekend in Wheeling for “Letters to Me,” a new musical that will feature regional talent, according to producer Rob Capehart.
“Letter to Me” tells the fictional story of a young singer-songwriter who has to choose between his dreams of stardom in Nashville and the girl of his dreams in his hometown.
Seventeen-year-old Tucker Davis is one of the main characters and he’s an “aspiring country singer, earnest good boy.” Lisa Masters is also 17-years old and is a “sweet but headstrong girl from a prominent family.”
Other roles being cast include the fictional cast’s family members, friends and country music entertainers.
The production, which is billed as “America’s first country jukebox musical,” is being directed by LA-based director/actor Demetrius Navarro.
It is being produced independently by Brentwood Avenue Entertainment which licensed Paisley’s songs but he is not directly involved in the project.
Paisley, 44, who was born and raised in Glen Dale, is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer. He has sold more than 12 million albums and won several prestigious awards including three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards.
He made his musical debut in 1999 and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001.
His latest album, “Love and War,” will be released April 21. The first single from it, “Today,” has already entered the Top 5 on country airplay charts.
And since the new stage show will debut at Wheeling’s historic Capitol Theatre in September, it also made sense to hold auditions in Wheeling, Capehart said.
“We are very excited about the level of talent that there is in the tri-state area,” he said.
Additional information on the show will be available in mid-March.
“We’re not finished yet. We still have to do auditions in Nashville. But the middle of next month we should be able to make announcements about the cast and other specifics about the show,” he said.
Show dates are Sept. 22 and 23 for evening performances with a matinee on the 24th.
Tickets will go on sale April 3.
It will be a family –friendly show and producers are excited about reaching out to country music lovers, especially those who may never have been to the Capitol Theatre.
“It is just a fabulous facility, very majestic and with great acoustics,” he said.
“Since country music is the most popular music in the country this is a new way to bring it to thousands of people in a new venue, and feature the songs of a beloved country music star who is also proud to be a West Virginian.”