Who Dolly Parton Wants To Play Her in the Musical She’s Writing About Her Life

In Dolly Parton‘s 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, she wrote that she’s currently working on a Broadway musical about her life. It’s not the first time Parton’s spoken about writing about her life story, though. For some time, she didn’t know whether to debut the story on a streaming service like Netflix or on stage. It seems the Queen of Country is headed to Broadway (12 years after her Broadway success, 9 to 5: The Musical). And she already has someone in mind to play the part of Dolly.

A close-up of Dolly Parton sitting next to a vase filled with flowers.
Dolly Parton | Getty Images/Getty Images for ACM

Where to put the Dolly Parton story

Though Parton wrote in her book that she’s working on a Broadway musical about her life, in an interview with Marie Claire she did in Dec. 2020, she spoke about considering Netflix. She has a solid relationship with the streaming service after several deals, such as 2019’s anthology series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings and 2020’s Christmas on the Square.

“I’m still working on my life story as a musical, and so I’m not sure if I want to do it as a feature-film musical or if I do want to go ahead and do it on Broadway,” she said. “But I do think that would make a good series.”

Who Dolly Parton has in mind to play her in the musical of her life

RuPaul, TV star, singer, songwriter, and drag icon, interviewed Parton for Marie Claire. He brought up that Kristin Chenoweth would be a good fit for the role, especially for “the period of you deciding to leave The Porter Wagoner Show and branch out on your own.” He suggested that that time, alone, would make “a great Netflix film.”

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“Yeah, it would,” she agreed. “There’s a lot of parts of my life that would make good—just like the little ‘Coat of Many Colors’ in my early days, and then all the little pockets. And I love Kristin Chenoweth. She’s just absolutely fantastic.”

Parton has had Chenoweth in mind to play her for a while.

“Years and years ago, when I was going to do the Broadway musical—I never can get it to how I want it, but I’m still working on it,” she said. “But I thought she’d be an ideal person to do that. But we’re all getting older now, so if we tell the parts…we may be able to have different Dollys. We’d probably have to have—as long as my career has been—like a little Dolly, and a middle Dolly, and then the older one. And she’d still be great for that.”

‘From Here to the Moon and Back’

Parton knows one song, for certain, will be featured in the musical of her life: “From Here to the Moon and Back.”

“This song is very much based on my husband, Carl,” Parton wrote in her book. “I’m using it in a musical for Broadway that I’m writing. It’s my life story as a musical. This is going to be sung as a duet between the ‘Carl’ character and the ‘Dolly’ character in that.”

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Parton originally wrote the song for the Joyful Noise soundtrack.

“That’s where I got to dance with Kris Kristofferson, which was great,” she wrote. “And it is such a pretty song, if I do say so myself.”

Parton also did the song as a duet with Willie Nelson.

“He said, ‘I like that song of yours. Why don’t we do ‘From Here to the Moon and Back’?’ I said, ‘Okay. I think I can pick that on my guitar.’ And so we did it,” she wrote.

It’s a well-loved song by Parton. It’s no surprise that it’s going to end up in the musical of her life to describe the love between her and her husband, Carl Dean.