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Loretta Lynn taps Zooey Deschanel for 'Coal Miner's' musical

May 11, 2012|By Jamie Wetherbe
(Associated Press )

Country music legend Loretta Lynn has chosen her next leading lady.

Lynn, 80, revealed plans to adapt "Coal Miner's Daughter" into a musical version of her life story and said she wants actress/singer Zooey Deschanel to play the part.

Lynn made the announcement mid-concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Thursday night by inviting Deschanel on stage for a duet of the title song.

"Well, there's a little girl back stage that's going to do the play of 'Coal Miner's Daughter' on Broadway," Lynn said. "Zooey, where you at, honey?"

The singer used a similar platform in 1979 when she announced that Sissy Spacek was cast in the film of the same name, the tale of Lynn's rise from impoverished upbringing in rural Kentucky to Grand Ole Opry stardom. Spacek later won an Oscar for her role.

"It’s a long way from Butcher Holler to Broadway in New York City," said Lynn. "I never imagined I’d see 'Coal Miner’s Daughter' on a movie screen, and now I can’t believe it’s going to be on a stage for people to see... I’m going to be right there in the front row. And I know Zooey is going to be great—she sings and writes her own songs just like I do, and we even have the same color eyes!"

Plans for the Broadway show are in the early stages with the creative team and dates not yet  announced. Scott Sanders Productions, with credits including the Broadway revival of"Evita,"and Fox Theatricals will produce the musical.

The show would mark Deschanel's Broadway debut. The Emmy- and Grammy-nominated"New Girl"star has released three albums as half of the pop duo She & Him, as well as a series of tuneful viral videos on her female-focused website, HelloGiggles.com.

"This is a great honor for me. This is my hero," Deschanel said at Thursday’s show.

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