July 24, 2009 — Joe Nichols has a seven-year history of recording hits in Nashville. Now he's hoping to be part of a hit in New York.
He's signed on to appear in a Broadway remake of the George Strait movie Pure Country. It came as a surprise to plenty of Joe's fans and to people in the music industry, since Joe's not really considered an actor. In fact, it was a bit of a surprise to Joe that it worked out, since he's got zero history with that end of the entertainment business.
"[I'm] going to be playing the lead," he told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "They changed his name to Rusty. It's not Dusty, it's Rusty — I don't know why they made that change. But the characters are the same, and I think they've updated the script just a little bit. But20it's based around the Pure Country movie, and I'm very excited to go to Broadway. This is probably my only opportunity I'll ever have to play a lead character on Broadway, 'cause I have no experience on Broadway — I've never even been to a Broadway show — but as far as this part goes, I think I've watched that movie more than anybody in history, so I think I'm pretty well-versed in the Rusty character."
If all goes as scheduled, rehearsals will begin in New York this fall with the production opening in early 2010. In the meantime, Joe's next album, Old Things New, is set for a Sept. 29 release date. The first single, "Believers," ranks No. 28 on the USA Today Mediabase country singles chart. The album also features a Jamey Johnson song, "Cheaper Than A Shrink" (co-written with Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson); a Paul Overstreet number, "Old Things New" (also co-written by Bill); and two songs penned by 1990s hitmaker Rhett Akins, "The Shape I'm In" and "Gimmie That Girl."