Steve Earle’s Favorite Musicals

Steve Earle in a scene from Treme
(Photo by Paul Schiraldi and courtesy of HBO)

While Steve Earle is best known as an insurgent country music icon with a strong leftist bent, he’s also a major fan of musicals, so much so that he moved to Greenwich Village in 2005 for, “major league baseball and live theater, not necessarily in that order.” And while he stuck his toe in acting waters via his work with respected author/writer/producer David Simon in the latter’s The Wire and Treme, Earle has also ventured out as a playwright with Karla, a one-act play about Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War, which was staged at the Culture Project shortly after he moved to the Big Apple.

More recently, the Virginia native was a narrator/actor for Richard Maxwell’s Off Broadway play Samara. Given Earle’s penchant for multi-tasking projects, he is also currently in the talking stages with Simon about a musical about Sparrow’s Point in Baltimore, along with a project currently in development at the Public Theater that he is just doing music for. And that doesn’t include an outline Earle has for a musical based on Washington Square that a theater company is looking at right now and he is currently unable to talk about it yet. All this an open invitation to hire him as a musical theater composer available to write lyrics, songs or a whole musical.

In the meantime, these are Steve Earle’s favorite musicals to date.

Carousel (1945)

“Because I love a good ghost story.”

South Pacific (1949)

“Social commentary, extremely progressive for its time, masterfully packaged for mass consumption.”

Dear Evan Hansen (2016)

“Seen it twice—cried both times.”

Steve Earle will be appearing with Los Lobos on Sept. 14 at The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. For more information, visit or call 631-673-7300.

For a full feature on Steve Earle, see: Steve Earle Gets His Outlaw On

Steve Earle Gets His Outlaw On

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