The musical Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman, which will star former Houstonian Jesse Dayton as the Texas author, humorist, novelist, musician and two-time gubernatorial candidate, was hatched during and after a 2009 benefit performance of former Houstonian Ted Swindley's play, Always...Patsy Cline, at Stages Repertory Theater.
The benefit honored playwright and Stages founder Swindley. Carolyn Farb, Houston socialite and Becoming Kinky co-producer, chaired the Stages benefit.
"Kinky and Little Jewford [Friedman's close friend and founding member of his band, The Texas Jewboys] were at my table, as was Ted. The juices were flowing," Farb recalls.
"Ted and I had breakfast the next day and the concept was born to create a musical play depicting the life of Kinky.
"Kinky is truly a vanishing breed of folk hero," says Farb. "He's an astute writer of mystery and poetic novels and is currently working on two books, one with Willie Nelson called The Twelve Days of Christmas and one with Billy Bob Thornton."
Farb goes on to describe Friedman as a "singer in the Dylan genre, an irreverent humorist, and political activist."
"People follow him like a pied piper," she says. "Kinky is the stuff legends and ballads are made of."
Swinford, Farb and co-producers Ruth Buzzi and her husband Kent Perkins have tried the play out with staged readings in New York, Dallas and at Stages in Houston.
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"We're very excited about Jesse Dayton as Kinky," said Farb. "We're now fully cast except for Jewford, and the search is on."
The play debuts with a four-night world premiere at McGonigel's Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk) from March 28-31. Tickets are on sale now at the venue, 713-528-5999.