All kitschy on the western front

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headshotElisabeth Vincentelli

Blog: Theater

LUCKY GUY Little Shubert Theatre, 422 W. 42nd St.; 212-239-6200. Through July 24.

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All kitschy on the western front

With 20 different songs (and a few reprises), the kitschy new country musical “Lucky Guy” is overlong and overstuffed.

No wonder: It was written and directed by the man, Willard Beckham, who also came up with the score. He must have felt that delegating and making cuts would be like casting off his own children.

And yet if someone had, “Lucky Guy,” which opened off-Broadway last night, might have been closer to fulfilling its very real potential.

The story centers on the machinations of Nashville used-car dealer Big Al (Leslie Jordan) and his acolyte, Queen of Country Music Jeannie Jeannine (Varla Jean Merman). The cartoonish pair are trying to steal a potential hit song from its maker, a strapping Oklahoman named Billy Ray (Kyle Dean Massey, from “Next to Normal”).

Leslie Jordan (left) and Varla Jean Merman make an amusing pair of song thieves in the musical 'Lucky Guy.'

Joan Marcus

Leslie Jordan (left) and Varla Jean Merman make an amusing pair of song thieves in the musical “Lucky Guy.”