Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark on Writing the Score for ‘Shucked’: “Our Show is an Outlier”

Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark are speaking to the outsiders with the score to Shucked.

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Written by Robert Horn, the playwright behind the stage adaptions of Tootsie, Hercules and others, Shucked is a new Broadway musical that follows the story of Maizy, a Midwesterner who journeys to Florida to find help for her and her fiancee’s corn crop that has been decimated. Hit songwriters McAnally and Clark penned the songs that follow her along the trek and the characters she meets along the way.

“Our show is actually an outlier,” McAnally explains on The Kelleigh Bannen Show on Apple Music Country. “We’re talking about country music on Broadway where all the marketing is dependent on a piece of corn. People are like, ‘What is this? I’m not paying to go sit in a theater and hear about corn.'”

McAnally says he had a similar reaction when he heard about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play, Hamilton, about the life of Alexander Hamilton.

“‘Right now, we are underdogs, we are outliers, but they’re about to find out and they’re going to come for us,'” McAnally continues, quoting Shucked Director Jack O’Brien. “‘Because once you’re the in-crowd, it’s not as cool to love something.’ And I thought that was really poignant.”

As songwriters, McAnally and Clark are behind “Follow Your Arrow” and “Biscuits” by Kacey Musgraves, “Dear Miss Loretta” by Carly Pearce, “Love Without You” by Darius Rucker featuring Sheryl Crow and many others. They got to translate their longtime friendship and songwriting prowess into the nearly 20 songs they wrote for the musical, which Clark calls a dream come true.

“I always, in the back of my mind, had this bucket list thought of, ‘I want to write a musical one day,’ but I don’t know that I ever really thought that that would happen, especially when my bigger passion was writing and singing country music,” she says. “And then when this came along for [Shane and me,] we dove right in.”

Shucked is currently playing at the Nederlander Theatre.

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

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