Show History



Western Star is a musical with a book by Dale Wasserman (Man of La Mancha) and music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur and Scott DeTurk. It takes place in the "Old West" in the late nineteenth century, a time of expansion and shady dealings.

Wasserman was given the idea for the musical after backpacking through the Colorado mountains. He ran into a surprising number of ghost towns and began to wonder about those who used to inhabit them. He used the Henry David Thoreau quote, "Eastward I go only by force, but Westward I go free," as a guidepost to think about those who went West but did not want to be pioneers: jailbirds, crooks and con-men. He wanted to write a Western tale on the opposite end of the spectrum from the classic, Oklahoma!, apparently tired of the "fairytale" and yearning to write something that has sharpness and a sense of reality.


Western Star made its debut on the West Coast at an amateur production in 1993 in Fairfield, California. It premiered professionally in 1995 with the Civic Light Opera, also in California. The musical was featured in the Festival of New Musicals, sponsored by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. NAMT has nurtured the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals since 1985.


  • The West Coast production of Western Star won California's Elly Award for Best Original Work in 1993.