An "aw, shucks" moment: Shucked songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally take a bow
with the Broadway cast at the Nederlander Theater. Photo: Emilio Madrid

Sandbox Entertainment’s Jason Owen (at right in photo) and Broadway producer Mike Bosner greeted a litany of country stars at 4/5's Broadway opening of Shucked, the heartland musical that’s got critics and audiences raving.

Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Chase Stokes, Patty Smyth and Kristen Chenoweth were among those who attended opening night of the Brandy Clark/Shane McAnally musical at the Nederlander Theater.

“The truth about this kind of entertainment is that it should make people feel good,” Owen said. “You can make people think about or look at their values with a smile on their faces just as easily as you can by being serious. But where the world is right now, people need to come together, to laugh and honestly recognize that Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio or even Arkansas, where I’m from, is as much a part of America as Wall Street or Hollywood—and Shucked is about bringing all these people together.”

The reviews have been stellar. Variety said, “Shucked is the surprise delight of the season”; the New York Post called it “the best and funniest new musical on Broadway”; Broadway News opined, “The riotous new work, with a book by Robert Horn, nabs acoustic inspiration from country music and tonal humor from shows like The Book of Mormon and Tootsie.” And Vulture reported, “Shucked may be the most surprising viral hit in recent Broadway history.”

Or as we are wont to say: Come for the melodies, stay for the hominy.

Based on the early response, producers are keen on harvesting bushels of Tony noms.

Jennifer Nettles and Little Big Town breathe easy after escaping Times Square. Photo: Kevin Mazur