Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter and guitarist Leenya Rideout, who discusses being a part of the revival of Lone Star and what it means to her. Rideout also discusses her future after the production.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in LONE STAR?
Leenya Rideout: Joe Battista directed me in Before We’re Gone last summer at 13th Street Repertory Theatre and discovered that I was also part of the comedy band The Chalks. When he was looking for an opening act for the one act play Lone Star, he called me up and we said yes!
Review Fix: What makes your music ideal for this type of production?
Rideout: The Chalks play original three-part country music that is all about love, loss, eating and drinking. And America. And cars. Our characters are a dysfunctional but lovable trio of sisters born and bred in Boggy Depot, Oklahoma right next door to Texas and not unlike the characters of Lone Star, are known to steal each other’s romantic partners. I think we’re a perfect way to set the scene at Angel’s Bar for Act I of Lone Star. Our director Joe Battista is a smart guy!
Review Fix: How is this project a rewarding one for you?
Rideout: I have been part of the Chalks for over ten years now and we have played in theaters and cabarets all over the country, traveling life’s highways with our finger on the pulse of America. Any time we get a chance to make new fans, find out what they want and give it to them, we take it! I hope everyone gets a chance to see Lone Star, as we are a limited run from June 6th through June 16th at the 13th Street Repertory Theater.
Review Fix: How do you want your role in LONE STAR to be remembered?
Rideout: I hope we go down as the best darn country music superstar trio of sisters ever to play in Angels Bar!
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Rideout: After the Chalks open the first week of Lone Star’s run at 13th Street Rep, I will finish out the second week in my own as one of my “sisters”, Judelle (Kathryn Markey), heads out of town for another job. This set will be entitled “Back to Jack,” which is the title of the only original song I’ll play that night. I’ve strung together a dozen heartbreak songs written by some of country music’s best female artists as only they can. I’m going to sing them in order of the stages of grief, with an extra special stage thrown in at the end… After all, sometimes the only thing that makes you feel better is a good breakup song!
After Lone Star closes, I’m heading to Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in August to play the Witch in Into the Woods.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Rideout: I just finished premiering the brand new musical August Rush based on the beloved 2007 movie at the Paramount Theatre.