LUCKY GUY tells the tale of a singing cowboy in Nashville who wins a song contest and the chance to become a star! The fun begins when the Queen of Country Music, who lives in a 28 room trailer, schemes to steal his prize winning song. The story takes place in Music City, U.S.A.-- back in the day when the only thing bigger than the hits were the hairdos. That’s where our hero meets the lovable cast of characters in this colorful retro fantasy world featuring a tribe of tap dancing Indians, a choir of heavenly angels and wigs that magically sing. LUCKY GUY is a fresh, new and totally original musical comedy guaranteed to delight the whole family. It has a fast and funny plot that will have you roaring with laughter and a memorable score filled with songs you’ll be humming long after you leave the theatre. The real heart and soul of the show, however, is the moral of the story: it’s not what you have in life it’s who you have to share it with that makes you a lucky guy.
Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes; Including One 15-minute Intermission
The curtain rises as the Buckaroos give everyone a rousing welcome to NASHVILLE! We meet Billy Ray Jackson, who won a song contest off the back of a matchbook cover and arrives at Wright Track Records to claim his prize. He meets Chicky, a hairdresser at the Wigateria, who tells him, I’M DOIN’ HAIR TODAY (but I’ll be gone tomorrow)! Then Billy Ray meets Wanda, pretty secretary at Wright Track and it’s love at first sight! He charms the girls by telling them about back home in Oklahoma inside that OSAGE COUNTY LINE joined by our Buckaroos as a tribe of tap dancing Indians.
Next we meet G.C. Wright, owner of Wright Track and Chicky’s perennial boyfriend, who is thrilled to be recording Billy Ray’s prize-winning song LUCKY GUY. Billy Ray’s new friends at Wright Track warn him that Nashville is a town full of FOLKS MAKIN’ MONEY off of other folks’ dreams.
Big Al Wright, who has made his fortune selling Used Cars of the Stars, offers to help his cousin G.C. make a hit record out of “Lucky Guy.” He whisks Billy Ray off to the Grand Ole Opry to meet the Queen of Country Music, Miss Jeannie Jeannine, who is on-stage singing her iconic hit BLUE JEAN BLUES. In her dressing room, Jeannie and Big Al make a deal for her to steal “Lucky Guy” from Billy Ray so she can have a new hit and he can foreclose on the mortgage he holds on Wright Track. They’re just FOLK’S MAKIN’ MONEY (reprise).
Jeannie lures Billy Ray to her palatial home, a 28-room trailer, where she tells him how lonely it is being QUEEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC backed up by the Buckaroos as her butlers. Jeannie’s seduction does not go as planned and Billy Ray goes back to Wright Track where he and Wanda realize that their meeting each other was like finding a NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK. Act One ends with Big Al dropping a bombshell which leaves the folks at Wright Track feeling hopeless. Billy Ray reminds them to DO WHAT YOU CAN DO joined by the Buckaroos as a choir of Heavenly angels.
We are welcomed back to NASHVILLE for the opening number of Big Al’s live television show, MAYBE GIRL, starring Jeannie and the Buckaroos in a Wild West saloon setting. Backstage, Jeannie promises Billy Ray she will let him sing “Lucky Guy” on TV to save Wright Track and make him a star and all he has to do is sign an iron-clad contract. Billy Ray is having second thoughts, so the Buckaroos become Jeannie’s four red wigs encouraging Billy Ray to sign on the dotted line in YO’ A LITTLE LADY.
Meanwhile, Chicky tells Wanda she’s overheard a rumor that Jeannie was going to steal both “Lucky Guy” and Billy Ray. She convinces Wanda to stand by her man: FIND HIM AND BRING HIM HOME.
Back on the TV show, BIG AL struts his stuff in an over-produced commercial for Big Al’s Used Cars of the Stars while backstage, Jeannie is suddenly confronted by Wanda. They fight for Billy Ray’s affections, each confident he’s going to pick them and that he will MAKE UP HIS MIND.
Jeannie opens the door to her dressing room where Billy Ray is waiting, giving Wanda the wrong impression, and she leaves in tears. Billy Ray then says that he does not want to be a star--if it means losing Wanda--and he hands Jeannie the unsigned contract. As he leaves, he thanks Jeannie for being his friend by giving her the song, REMEMBERING YOU. Chicky and G.C. fear their dreams for “Lucky Guy” may now be lost, but realize that no matter what, they still have each other as G.C. finally proposes to CHICKY.
Jeannie tells Big Al that she is introducing Billy Ray to sing “Lucky Guy” on his show and there’s nothing he can do to stop her. But, Big Al threatens to reveal Jeannie’s secret past if she does. Billy Ray and Jeannie then decide to work together to foil Big Al as she sings TRAILER PARK ROMANCE and then introduces Billy Ray to sing “Lucky Guy.” Listening to Billy Ray sing, a heart broken Wanda recalls how she fell in love with MY LUCKY GUY. Everyone now realizes that “Lucky Guy” is going to be a big hit so Big Al makes a deal with G.C and Billy Ray proposes to Wanda and there is a happy ending for all in THE BIG FINALE.
Cast Size: Small (1-10). Vocal Demands: Moderate. Dance Requirements: Some Dancing Required. Good For: High School • College/University • Amateur/Community • Professional Theatre.
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— Dr. Joy Brow, WOR-Radio, December 31, 1969
"Move over, Mormons! There's a new guy in town, a Lucky Guy. And he is funny, sings like a bird, has a heart of gold."— JK's Theater Scene, May 20, 2011
Written By: Willard Beckham
The moment I finished my first draft of Lucky Guy I started having readings in my living room where I could fine tune the script with amazing talents like Kelly Bishop and Margo Martindale acting out the parts while I sang the songs. These readings were an immediate success and soon attracted the likes of directors Mike Nichols and Michael Smuin, Shubert Organization president Bernie Jacobs and the legendary Michael Bennett who proceeded to take Lucky Guy under his wing. Following an inaugural production in Dallas featuring Beth Fowler and Faith Prince, the show found it’s way back into my living room again for more fine-tuning and a reading with Victoria Clark, Margo Martindale and Clay Aiken. This led to a fully staged reading at Manhattan’s New World Stages with Victoria Clark and Gary Beach, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, propelling us to a brand new production of the show at Goodspeed Musicals.
This turned out to be an historic production for Lucky Guy in that it was the first to introduce the Buckaroos, whose outlandish comedic moments made them an immediate audience favorite. Goodspeed also proved to be the launching pad for the New York premiere of Lucky Guy at The Little Shubert Theatre featuring Kyle Dean Massey and Leslie Jordan, which was honored with an Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical of 2012 and a Drama Desk nomination for best costumes by William Ivey Long.
Vocal Range of Characters:
|Name||Vocal Type||Low Note||High Note|
|Billy Ray Jackson||Tenor||G||Bb|
|Miss Jeannine Jeannine||Mezzo-Soprano|
A brassy belter with a great range.
Big range belt and legit.
with strong belt
|Big Al Wright||Baritone|
|The Buckaroos||see below|
2 tenors/1 baritone/1 bass-baritone
Vocal Range notes for Lucky Guy:
Written By: Willard Beckham
I am thrilled that Lucky Guy is now part of the Rodgers and Hammerstein family and is being sent out into the world. I know you’ll have a great time in bringing your own imagination and creativity to the whimsical world of Lucky Guy, where wigs can sing, tap dancing Indians magically appear and the Queen of Country Music lives in a 28-room trailer. Yes, this show is meant to be fun, from the hilarious hijinks of Big Al and Jeannie, who I call the Boris and Natasha of Nashville, to the fantasy production numbers of The Buckaroos. This highly stylized piece should be done with a spirit of childlike innocence and enthusiasm. The cast of archetypal characters was written in bold strokes but they should not be portrayed as cartoon characters in any way. They must walk a very fine line between comedy and camp in order to make us believe their outrageous reality; hook, line and sinker. The performers should all share a like sensibility for the quirky, stylized humor of the show but never give in to the temptation to “camp it up,” comment on the material or resort to gratuitous mugging. The script has been fashioned with “southern-fried” accents for the characters that have a definite rhythm and cadence. Paraphrasing and ad-libbing just end up being comedy killers and are to be avoided.
The comic scenes should be played with the level of artistry made famous on The Carol Burnett Show, sincere and totally committed. Big Al and Jeannie’s “Philadelphia scene” in Act Two, for example, is a scene where the stakes are so high that the audience must believe that an invitation to a high school reunion could actually destroy the Queen of Country Music’s career.
Comedy is key in Lucky Guy but never at the expense of the heart of the show, which is its message: it’s not what you have in life it’s who you have to share it with that counts. In Act One, when Billy Ray shares touching memories of his father and sings “Lucky Guy,” the audience starts investing in the story and connects with the characters. This is the moment when Wanda and the audience fall in love with Billy Ray. However, the character we end up caring most about is Jeannie Jeannine. While trying to win over Billy Ray’s friendship in her 28-room trailer, she sings “Queen of Country Music” which, while funny, gives us our first glimpse into the fear and loneliness of her “superstar” world.
Big Al is the larger than life villain that you love to hate. The “Big” in his name refers more to his overblown ego than his physical size. His constant scheming with Jeannie Jeannine to steal the song “Lucky Guy” provides the bricks and mortar of the plot. Chicky and G.C. are the classic comic sidekicks to Billy Ray and Wanda and provide a homey background, with Wright Track Records and their dream of finally having a hit. As for The Buckaroos, they act as the Greek chorus in Lucky Guy and provide some of the most imaginative comic elements in the show. They charge on as tap dancing Indians and no one ever comments on it; in fact they all join in on the fun together. When casting The Buckaroos think about them being a real quartet as they must sound and look great together.
Remember, the comedy is broad, the situations are larger than life, but the core of each performance must be honest and sincere. With those elements in place, you just can’t go wrong. Once the characters fully embrace the outrageous “reality” of Lucky Guy, the audience will eagerly go along for the ride.
- LUCKY GUY-Rehearsal Set (14 Books)
- 12 – Libretto-Vocal
- 2 – Keyboard 1/Piano Conductor
- 1 – Digital Logo
- LUCKY GUY- Orchestration (8 Books/8 Players)
- 1 – Reed (Alto Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet)
- 1 – Guitar 1 (Acoustic, Banjo, Mandolin)
- 1 – Guitar 2 (Electric & Acoustic)
- 1 – Keyboard 2 (Synth)
- 1 – Violin (Fiddle & Mandolin)
- 1 – Bass (Acoustic)
- 1 – Drums/Percussion (Drum Set, Timpani, Woodblock, Mark Tree, Whistle, Cowbell, Temple Blocks, Triangle, Sandpaper Blocks)
- 1 – Keyboard 1/Piano Conductor
- LUCKY GUY-Pre-Production Pack
- 1 – Libretto-Vocal
- 1 – Keyboard 1/Piano Conductor
- LUCKY GUY-Libretto-Vocal 10-Pack
- 10 – Libretto-Vocal
An ensemble may be added.
Big Al Wright
Miss Jeannie Jeannine
Billy Ray Jackson
Buckaroos (4 guys)
LUCKY GUY takes place in Nashville, Tennessee circa 1969 in the following locations:
Wright Track Records
Grand Ole Opry Stage
Jeannies Dressing Room
Jeannies Palatial Home
Main Street Nashville
Backstage at the Opry
Big Als Cavalcade of Cars