Lyric Stage, World Premiere: 2017


Lyric Stage’s recent world premiere of Larry Gatlin’s Quanah was controversial, but a box-office success for the company. There’s nothing controversial about its current world premiere, Pure Country, directed and choreographed by Quanah’s John de los Santos, but it’s a charmer with a Texas twang and tuneful score by Grammy nominees Steve Dorff and John Bettis that deserves a long and healthy future on regional stages.

…the performances and songs are so appealing; it takes you to a thoughtful place on more than one occasion.


John de los Santos‘ directing and choreography provides the momentum and saving grace that keeps the plot moving forward; de los Santos is particularly impressive in providing an ensemble of very mixed body types with consistently engaging choreography based on real dance-hall dancing.


Director/choreographer John de los Santos works his considerable magic by keeping the pace brisk and the performances clean, clear, and sharp. Dances are terrific, with all participants having what appears to be a great time, loving what they are doing. Texas line dancing has never been this fun to watch. A couple of the numbers are real standouts, especially “It Ain’t Texas” which gets a great response from the audience.