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Dolly Parton Announces Broadway Musical Based on Her Life Titled ‘Hello, I’m Dolly’

Dolly Parton is coming back to Broadway.

The country music legend announced on Thursday, June 6, that she is working to create Hello, I’m Dolly, a musical based on her life.

Parton, 78, will write the music, cowrite the book and serve as producer on the show, which is named for her first studio album and targeting a 2026 opening. Adam Speers for ATG Production and Danny Nozell for CTK Enterprises will help produce.

“Hello, I’m Dolly, and I lived my whole life to see this show on stage,” she said in a statement. “I’ve written many original songs for the show and included all your favorites in it as well. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll clap, you’ll stomp; it truly is a Grand Ol’ Opera. Pun and fun intended. Don’t miss it!”

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In a press conference at CMA Fest on Thursday, Parton noted that Hello, I’m Dolly is not a jukebox musical, meaning it won’t just feature her past hits reworked as showtunes. “You’ll get to know all of my life up to now,” she added. “It really does have a lot of story, a lot of family.”

Dolly Parton Announces Broadway Musical Based on Her Life feature
Dolly Parton. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

She went on to note that she’s been thinking about telling her life story for years, but it’s taken a while to get the concept right. “Everybody just wanted to take it up to the Porter [Wagoner] days,” she recalled. “My life didn’t even begin until after that, till the ’70s! Although all those days were important, we do cover all of those years and all the things that we went through. I thought, ‘Well I need to write some original music where it really tells my life story from the time I was little and dreaming about being a star.’ So I’m hoping you’re gonna laugh and you’re gonna cry.”

Parton has worked with several of her Hello I’m Dolly collaborators in the past. She’s cowriting the book with Maria S. Schlatter, who previously worked with Parton on the 2020 Netflix musical Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square.

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Speers said in a statement, “I first had the pleasure of working with Dolly Parton in 2019 when she trusted us to develop a new version of her musical 9 to 5 for London’s West End. I had always heard she wanted to do a musical based on her life, so when she asked if I would be interested in producing it, I was bowled over. As the world knows, Dolly is a magical blend of talent, hard work, intelligence, charm, wit and a gigantically big heart. I’m thrilled we’re going to bring her inspiring story to Broadway.”

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9 to 5 originally ran on Broadway from April to September 2009 and starred Allison Janney as Violet Newstead. The show received mixed reviews, but after closing on Broadway it toured in the United States, the U.K. and Australia. Parton and 9 to 5 earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score, ultimately losing to Next to Normal.

Dolly Parton Announces Broadway Musical Based on Her Life feature
Dolly Parton. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for American Greetings

Parton is no stranger to major awards, however. With 52 Grammy nominations and 11 wins, she is the second-most nominated woman in this history of the Grammys, trailing only Beyoncé. Her most recent win came in 2021 under the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song category.

With Hello, I’m Dolly, Parton joins the growing list of artists to take their music to Broadway. Neil Diamond, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Carole King and Gloria and Emilio Estefan have all featured their stories and songs in musicals.

Casting and additional crew members will be announced at a later date.

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