Book and lyrics by Joseph Sutton,
Music by Lewis Flinn
THE WINNER is a provocative new musical about the birth of American politics as we know it. Imagine "The Three Penny Opera" meets "Ragtime"- but in Texas. Set on the backdrop of Lyndon Johnson's notorious Senate race of 1948, “The Winner" tells the tale of one of the dirtiest, most vicious, most colorful campaigns in the history of our country - with an episodic, country-twanged score keeping the beat. With his trusted campaign manager John Connally at his side, LBJ re-wrote the rule book on modern politics. They brought in money, media and campaigned by air. They eventually invented the equivalent of the “hanging chad.” And through it all, Johnson’s wife, Ladybird, looked on with worry. And then she intervened. With love, with compassion, but more than anything, with a sense of ethics that her husband often lacked, Ladybird fought for the man she loved – and in doing so, she delivered to her state and her country a man she could be proud of. The man who eventually became the 36th President of the United States…Lyndon Baines Johnson.
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Jimmy, the narrator, African-American, 20s
Lyndon Johnson, 40
John Connally, 30
Nellie Connally, 25
Ladybird "Bird" Johnson, 35
Herman Brown, 50s
Coke Stevenson, 60
George Parr, 50s
Harry Gates, 50s
Shook/Sonny Bailey 40s
Farmer/Frank Hamer/others, 50s
There is also a chorus of men and women (as few as two, as many as six) who take on a variety of roles.