Cowboy Musical Gets ‘Yee Haw!’

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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Tori Lee Averett’s hope for the musical she wrote titled “A Thousand Cowboys” was that it would serve as a foundation for future efforts and funding, and, perhaps, in Brundidge, which she said is continuing to develop as an arts destination.

“A Thousand Cowboys” opened to three sold-out audiences, Thursday through Saturday nights, at The Big Brick Market in Brundidge and received standing ovations each night.

For the playwright, it was a special night in her hometown.

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“I was thrilled to see my own writing, characters, and songs come to life in the hands of such a skilled director, featuring such committed and capable performers, presented in the perfect venue of Big Brick Market,” Averett said.  “And to have this produced in my hometown and feature so much local talent made it that much more meaningful.

“I’m so grateful for everyone who had a hand in it, and for the community who came out to support it. The arts are alive and well in Pike County, and we have a community that I believe wants to see more things like this. I think Brundidge in particular is ripe for more of these arts events and creative ventures.”

“A Thousand Cowboys” was directed by Troy University’s Brett Warnke, who is now in New York, and featured a cast of Troy University theater students and a professor or two, area townspeople, local musicians and crew.

Dr. Phil Kelly, Professor Emeritus of Music, Troy University, was among those who stood and applauded the “amazing performance” of an amazing musical performed by a very talented cast and crew.

Kelly said he has known the playwright for most all of her life.

“Tori is amazingly talented but she wouldn’t want me to talk about that,” Kelly said. “She would want me to talk about everyone else. To say they were all extremely good, both artistic and production, would be a vast understatement. ‘A Thousand Cowboys’ was professionally and wonderfully done.  I was so impressed, so very impressed with the writer, the director, the actors and actresses, both comedic, rowdy and pensive, and with the singing, the dancing, the music. Everything was the best it could be.”

Kelly said those who missed “A Thousand Cowboys” missed a big-time theater experience in a small town.

“A few weeks ago, I attended a play at the folk life theater here in Brundidge and greatly enjoyed it as I have other performances there,” Kelly said. “The folk play was funny and it was heartfelt.  And, this weekend, I was treated to a big city musical and everyone involved has reason to be proud. And Brundidge has reason to be proud.”

Willie B. Williams of Troy agreed “A Thousand Cowboys” was “beyond expectation.”

“I talked with Tori this morning and told her how much I enjoyed the musical,” Williams said. “The storyline, the actors, the singers, the music, everything was excellent. I would like to see it again. The audience was diverse and everyone seemed to enjoy ‘A Thousand Cowboys’ as much as I did.”

And, the “Yee Haws” heard coming out of the theater, were indications that, yes, they did.