Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.
Dolly Parton is dedicating time to her upcoming Broadway musical, drawing inspiration from her iconic song “9 to 5.” In a recent conversation with PEOPLE, the 78-year-old country music legend provided insights into her Broadway project, which delves into her life and illustrious career.
Expressing her long-standing dream of bringing her life story to the stage, Parton hinted at the possibility of holding a talent search for aspiring actors who might have the chance to portray her in the musical. She shared her enthusiasm for the Broadway venture, emphasizing its significance as a major goal she has harbored for many years.
Parton, a Grammy winner, revealed, “Right now, I’m working on my life story as a musical, and so going on Broadway and opening my show on Broadway, that’s been a biggie [goal] in my mind for many, many years. That’d be the one that I want to make certain I get done while I’m still kicking, while I’m around to stay involved in it.”
Parton reveals her optimism about realizing this dream by “late ’25.” To bring her self-penned musical project, for which she composed the music and contributed to half of the script, to New York City, the musical icon contemplates hosting a “Finding Dolly” contest.
Broadening the scope of the production, the “Jolene” singer envisions a dynamic portrayal of herself on Broadway, with three performers embodying different stages of her life. This includes a “little Dolly,” representing her early years, an “earlier years Dolly,” and an “older Dolly.”
Parton enthusiastically shares her plans for an inclusive casting process, stating, “We’re going to be auditioning and trying to find them through different means. I think that’ll be fun for people, too. You never know where you’re going to find them. They may never have been on stage before, or maybe in some local theater somewhere, but we’re going to look for them and that’s going to be part of the fun, I think.”
The artist behind “I Will Always Love You” has been offering glimpses of the stage production, chronicling her journey from humble beginnings in Tennessee to the unparalleled superstardom she has achieved across the entertainment industry. This teaser has been unfolding over the course of several years.
In 2016, the singer-songwriter discussed her work on a Broadway musical during an interview with Variety, while reflecting on the origins of her NBC TV movie “Coat of Many Colors.” During the conversation, she disclosed that the project, inspired by the titular song and her own childhood experiences, took shape as she delved into her past while crafting material for a theatrical script.
At that time, Parton shared insights into the musical’s structure, stating, “The whole first act is my early days before I went to Nashville. The second act is about my days in Nashville and beyond. So the first part of the musical will be a lot like ‘Coat of Many Colors’ with music and songs and will involve more details.” This provided a glimpse into the thematic progression and musical elements she envisioned for the production.
In a more recent interview with USA Today in October 2023, the renowned hitmaker explained that the Broadway musical faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared that she was on the verge of completing it when Broadway shut down amid the pandemic. Parton considered adapting the project into a biopic but ultimately decided against it, stating, “Nah, everybody’s doing a biopic! I’m going back to Broadway now that it’s open.”
Expressing her determination to bring the musical to Broadway, she mentioned, “So I’m hoping to have my show [there] in spring of 2025. That’s my aim!”
This upcoming musical project is not Parton’s first venture onto Broadway. She had previously composed the score for a stage adaptation of the film inspired by her hit, “9 to 5.” Premiering in 2008, the production reached Broadway in 2009 and earned her a Tony Award nomination for best original score.