The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

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For the 1982 feature film, see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (film).
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
BestWhorehouse.jpg
Original cast album
Music Carol Hall
Lyrics Carol Hall
Book Larry L. King
Peter Masterson
Basis Story by Larry L. King
Productions 1978 Broadway
1980 U.S. Tour
1981 West End
1982 Broadway
2001 U.S. Tour
2011 London Fringe Revival

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a musical with a book by Texas author Larry L. King and Peter Masterson and music and lyrics by Carol Hall. It is based on a story by King that was inspired by the real-life Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas.

Production history[edit]

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on June 19, 1978 and ran for 1,584 performances. The production was directed by Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune and choreographed by Tune and Thommie Walsh. The opening cast included Carlin Glynn, Henderson Forsythe, Jay Garner, Joan Ellis, Delores Hall, and Pamela Blair. Glynn was replaced by Fannie Flagg and Anita Morris later in the run. Alexis Smith starred as Miss Mona in the National Company, which toured major cities for more than a year, ending with a seven-month run in Los Angeles.

In what was described as "a return engagement", the show opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on May 31, 1982 and closed on July 24, 1982 after nine previews and 63 performances. The cast featured Glynn and Hall.[1]

The West End theatre production opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on February 26, 1981, again starring Glynn and Forsythe. It ran for 204 performances.[2]

A short-lived sequel entitled The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public was staged on Broadway in 1994.

"The Aggie Song" was performed on the Tony Awards broadcast, but was heavily censored because of the nature of the lyrics and choreography.

A U.S. National Tour starring Ann-Margret opened on February 14, 2001.[3]

A Revival Production of the musical was staged on London's Fringe at The Union Theatre From October 2011- November 2011, Starring Sarah Lark as Miss. Mona, Nancy Sullivan as Shy and Leon Craig as Melvin P. Thorpe. Ensemble Members included Jarred Page, Sasi Strallen, Katy Streader, Frankie Jenna, Patrick George, Dayle Hodge & Dan O'Brian. The Production was directed by Paul Taylor-Mills.

Synopsis[edit]

It is the late 1970s, and a brothel has been operating outside of fictional Gilbert, Texas, (subbing for real locale La Grange) for more than a century. It is under the proprietorship of Miss Mona Stangley, having been left to her by the original owner. While taking care of her girls, she is also on good terms with the local sheriff, Ed Earl Dodd. When crusading television reporter Melvin P. Thorpe (based on real-life Houston news personality Marvin Zindler) decides to make the illegal activity an issue, political ramifications cause the place to be closed down.

Song list[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1979 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Book of a Musical Larry L. King and Peter Masterson Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Henderson Forsythe Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Carlin Glynn Won
Joan Ellis Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune Nominated
Best Choreography Tommy Tune and Thommie Walsh Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Henderson Forsythe Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Carlin Glynn Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Pamela Blair Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune Won
Outstanding Choreography Tommy Tune and Thommie Walsh Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Carol Hall Won
Outstanding Music Won
Theatre World Award Carlin Glynn Won

Notes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hall, Carol. Vocal selections from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Melville, N.Y.: MCA Music, 1979.
  • King, Larry L. and Masterson, Peter. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Music and lyrics by Carol Hall. French's Musical Library. New York, N.Y.: S. French, 1978. ISBN 0-573-68111-2
  • King, Larry L. The Whorehouse Papers. New York: Viking Press, 1982. ISBN 0-670-15919-0

Discography[edit]

  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: original cast. Audio CD. MCA, 1997. MCAD-11683; MCA-3049.
  • Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: New cast recording. Audio CD. Fynsworth Alley/Varèse Sarabande, 2001. 302 062 117 2.

External links[edit]