NASHVILLE, TN – The highly-anticipated Woolworth Theatre is excited to announce the opening of its doors in downtown Nashville on September 23rd, 2022. The newly built and revitalized theatre will launch to the public with nightly performances of its in-house original production, Shiners, revealing that two all-star cast members will take the stage: country music star Chuck Wicks, and two-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway actress, Laura Osnes. Tickets will be available to the public for pre-sale beginning on July 28th.
Wicks, the entrepreneur and creative mind behind Woolworth Theatre and its programming, will join the cast as a leading character in Shiners for its first three-month run. The well-known country music personality partnered with 615 Ventures and Rob Bellenfant in 2021 to turn Nashville’s historic Woolworth building into a reimagined theatre, lounge and event space. His signature production Shiners is self-produced, and was developed alongside critically-acclaimed choreography duo, NappyTabs. Shiners will feature seven breathtaking acts and three original music scores composed by Wicks, K.S. Rhoads and local artist Emily West.
Hailing from New York City, Broadway veteran and legend Laura Osnes recently signed on to co-star alongside Wicks in Shiners’ first production. Osnes is best known for her starring roles in Grease as Sandy, South Pacific as Nellie Forbush, Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt, and Bonnie and Clyde as Bonnie, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for “Best Actress in a Musical”. She also starred in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, for which she received her second Tony Award nomination.
“When Laura walked through the door to audition for the role of ‘Violet’ my jaw dropped. It was like watching a real life Disney Princess walk across the room. Which makes sense – she did play Cinderella on Broadway. But then when she sang that first note, showed us her acting chops and that endearing personality it was game over. She had to be our Violet,” says Wicks, who also serves as the theatre’s CEO. “With all of the experience and success that Laura brings from Broadway, it was an easy fit to bring her in with the rest of our world-renowned cast and not miss a beat.”
Shiners is a 75-minute hilariously ridiculous but loveable story about the Shiner family, a family of moonshiners, and all the antics that ensue when they come together for the Shiner Family Reunion. The show’s production combines elements of broadway theatre, comedy, and circus-style acrobatics as it interactively engages and excites the audience in an intimate setting. The story offers a relatable arc of quirky family dynamics, enthusiastic montages, and an inspirational finale that proves any adversity can be overcome through the love and support of a family.
“I wanted to create a show, where when you walk out of the Woolworth Theatre, you are inspired to do great things,” says Wicks. “A lot of inspiration came from all the shows I personally loved watching growing up. It’s the perfect mixture of circus, Broadway and comedy. It’s a first-of-its-kind, electrifying experience that will leave audience members laughing, crying, in awe, and ultimately wanting more.”
The state-of-the-art, 30,000-square ft. Woolworth Theatre will feature a main stage, seven VIP boxes, lounge, kitchen, event space and multiple bars. Housed in the 1890’s Woolworth building on Rep. John Lewis Way N., the theatre has given new life to the historic building, known for its role in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. While constructing the theatre and working to preserve its original elements, Wicks has worked closely alongside the Nashville Public Library and family of the late Rep. John Lewis (who was amongst the 1960’s protestors) to simultaneously preserve its history and legacy.