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Chesney, Owen songs head Off-Broadway

Thursday, June 12, 2014 – Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen will head to the Big Apple for theatre in July. At least their songs are.

The 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival launches with the production of "Somewhere With You," a musical by director Peter Zinn and songwriter JT Harding. Zinn and Harding have created the first modern country songbook to ever hit New York theater. The musical features songs made famous by Chesney and Owen.

"Somewhere With You" will be performed seven times at The Pershing Square Signature Center in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, on July 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Tickets will go on sale June 16.

The show is a coming-of-age love story centering around a new generation of Southerners growing up in the early 2000s, confronted by the methamphetamine epidemic, the war in Iraq and other post 9/11 challenges in the rural South.

A country soundtrack of hits and new songs accompanies this storyline from Harding, including Chesney's number one song "Somewhere with You" and Uncle Kracker's "Smile."

The story also captures the challenges, isolation, and emotional despair military members experienced during those initial tours in Iraq and continue to experience today in Afghanistan.

The cast features Graham Scott Fleming (TJ), Katy Frame (23), Andrew Rothenberg (Bakerman), Anna Grace Barlow (Private Casey), Lauren Hoffmeier (Nancy), Jonathan Judge-Russo (Drew), Joshua Wiles (Lt. Jake), Ashley Arnett (Private Sheila),

Rounding out the cast is Emmy-nominated actor Jay Thomas (Stanley), best known for his work on sitcoms Cheers and Murphy Brown.

Zinn is a New York City based playwright director. He wrote and directed the play "Rumspringa," which premiered Off-Broadway at The Bleecker Street Theater in 2009

Harding is a singer/songwriter from Detroit. His songs include "Smile," co-written with Uncle Kracker, which sold three million copies; "Somewhere With You," which was a three-week number one for Chesney; and most recently "Alone With You," which also hit number one on the country chart for Owen. Harding goes by the name JTX in the pop world. His song "Love In America" was the most requested song of 2012 on Sirius XM Hits One, the leading music channel on satellite radio.

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Live in No Shoes Nation: 10 Years of Concerts CD review - Live in No Shoes Nation: 10 Years of Concerts
Kenny Chesney's "Live in No Shoes Nation" accurately recreates an experience of seeing the diminutive party animal live. Chesney has found an extremely lucrative niche as country music's Jimmy Buffett (although much of Buffett's island-y pop music appeals to many of today's non-discerning country music listeners). Also, with songs like "Pirate Flag," Chesney has even borrowed a few of Buffett's sea-related lyrical themes. This live CD could have been »»»
Cosmic Hallelujah CD review - Cosmic Hallelujah
The gospel, per Kenny Chesney's pseudo-spiritually-titled album, "Cosmic Hallelujah," is that the world is too crazy to make any sense of, and the only logical response is to drink more alcohol. (So, don't be surprised if there are more arrests for public intoxication at the performer's upcoming concert dates). Nearly every song includes lines about drinking alcohol - and not merely for the taste. This content will please many of his hard-partying fans. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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