NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn is taking her life story to Broadway, and she has tapped film and TV actress Zooey Deschanel to play her on stage.
Lynn, 80, unveiled plans for a musical adaptation of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” during a Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday night. Wearing one of her signature long sleeve, floor length dresses, the singer brought Deschanel onstage to sing the title tune. The actress called Lynn her hero.
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” was a No. 1 hit for Lynn in 1970 that she wrote about growing up as one of eight children in rural Kentucky. It became the title of her 1976 autobiography and the basis for the 1980 movie, starring Sissy Spacek, which traces Lynn’s rise from humble beginnings into one of country music’s most beloved singers. In 1972, Lynn became the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.
Thursday’s announcement mirrored the way Lynn invited actress Spacek on the Opry stage in 1979 to reveal that Spacek would play her in the upcoming film. Spacek won an Academy Award for her on screen portrayal of Lynn. Among the songs performed in the film are “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man,” ”You’re Looking at Country,” ”I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” and the title song.
Plans for a stage adaptation are still in the beginning stages, with no creative team attached or workshop dates announced. The producers — Fox Theatricals and Scott Sanders Productions — have been behind such Broadway hits as “Legally Blonde,” ”The Color Purple,” ”Red” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Deschanel, 32, is the star and a producer of the Fox comedy “New Girl.” She has starred in such films as “Elf,” ”(500) Days of Summer” and “Your Highness.” Producers of the musical said their schedule would not conflict with the actress “New Girl” commitments.
Deschanel also has a musical side. She has appeared on some of her movie soundtracks and in a jazz cabaret act called If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies. She has also released two albums with M. Ward as the folk-rock duo She & Him, and she performed three songs for the recent animated film “Winnie the Pooh.”
Caitlin R. King covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/CaitlinRKing
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