09 music citySept. 19 through Oct. 7, Cape Fear Regional Theatre debuts the world premiere of “Music City.” CFRT has enlisted the talents of a dazzling cast and crew, whose passion for the project brings the story to life. 

“Music City,” written by Peter Zinn, is an authentic imagining of the perseverance it takes to fulfill one’s destiny. Featuring five No. 1 Country Billboard hits written by J.T. Harding, the show intimately investigates the journeys of three songwriters as they navigate the difficult choices one makes while pursuing success. 

CFRT Artistic Director Mary Kate Burke directs the musical story of harsh realities and dreams realized. “The American dream is that, if I work hard, I can improve my circumstances,” Burke said, regarding the struggles of the main characters and the relevance of the show. Burke continued, “We want people to know it’s of the now; it’s set in 2000, but it feels very palpable to the issues of today.” 

Much of the story’s action is set in the Wicked Tickle, a chaotic country bar where our leads find each other. Choreographer Tyce Diorio said he strove to emphasize the integrity of storytelling with authenticity. His effort to make the story tangible by finding the story’s heartbeat created an atmosphere of honesty that reverberates throughout the entire program. Diorio is an American dancer and choreographer best known for his work on the hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance.” 

To further enhance the experience of attendees, CFRT has removed the theater’s first several rows of seats, put tables, chairs and sofas in their stead and will be having live music before the show. 

“When you walk into the theater, we want you to have an experience,” Burke said. “It’s like you’re going to be entering this little snow globe of Nashville… and you’re going to be able to come into the theater an hour before showtime and get a drink from the bar onstage.” 

It’s details like these that create “Music City’s” cohesive vision that has come to fruition right here in Fayetteville. Jonathan Judge-Russo, who plays Drew, one of the lead musicians, shared, “The most humbling thing about being ... in Fayetteville is (that) we are in a town … devoted to service. This is a place where people … serve a higher purpose. They’re doing something profoundly important and maybe, just for a couple hours, we get to serve them.” 

“Music City” encourages audience members not to get in their own way and to be bold. Kaylyn Marie Scardefield, who plays a young singer named 23, said of her character, “This character is calling me to be someone I want to be – someone who is more courageous. … I feel like I’ve been given a huge invitation to be a more courageous extension of myself.” 

The brilliant cast and crew invite Fayetteville to join them in exploring what it means to be brave. “Music City” opens for previews Sept. 19-Sept. 21 at $17 a ticket and will continue to run through Oct. 7, with tickets ranging from $25-$32. To learn more, visit www.cfrt.org or call 910-323-4233. 

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