In 1999, Reba McEntire took on the lead role in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, earning rave reviews and flexing her muscles as an actress in live theater. McEntire hasn’t returned to the boards since, but now her signature song is inspiring a new musical: “Fancy” tells the story of a young girl who provides for her family by being, as the lyrics say, “nice to the gentlemen.”
The play is still in its “developmental lab” phase, but it will stage two productions at the Off-Broadway Westside Theatre on March 16th and 17th. The storyline expands on the song’s narrative, with the main character, a poor teenaged girl in Louisiana, striving to escape her lot in life to become a famous country music singer. The song “Fancy” was originally written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1969.
Along with the centerpiece title song, the musical includes choice cuts from country’s canon, including Loretta Lynn’s “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” along with more modern fare by Gretchen Wilson (“Redneck Woman”) and Carrie Underwood (“Before He Cheats”).
In February, McEntire released a new album of spiritual songs, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope.