A Ride with Bob to Benefit Wild Basin
Make plans to attend A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The production, presented by Chevron, stars Ray Benson and his band Asleep at the Wheel. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
The musical, based on the life of Texas fiddler and Western swing legend Bob Wills, is written by Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson and screenwriter Anne Rapp. The production features 25 actors and musicians along with several dozen costume changes on a colorful theatrical set. In the musical, Benson meets the ghost of Wills after boarding the band's tour bus for a gig in Tulsa, Okla. The plot interweaves Ray Benson's present day life with significant events in Wills' storied career. It also features live performances of 15 of Wills' most well-known songs, including "Faded Love," "Take Me Back to Tulsa" and "San Antonio Rose."
Benson came up with the idea for the musical in early 2005 as a way to celebrate Bob Wills' 100th birthday and the musical influence on his own career. In essence, Benson has set out to create a story that recreates the conversation he always wished he could have had with Wills. Following a successful 2008 tour, Benson has decided to bring "A Ride with Bob" back to Austin. He also wanted to support the mission of Wild Basin. A longtime friend and neighbor to the preserve, Benson has hosted and played at several Wild Basin benefits over the years.