Jennifer Nettles is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She gained fame as one-half of the country duo Sugarland with Kristian Bush, before making a successful solo debut in 2012. Her songs are engaging with their captivating melodies and poetic flair. She has also starred in several movies and TV shows, including Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and the HBO Harriet Tubman biopic.
1. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Adapted from the Carol Hall musical, this movie stars Dolly Parton in one of her best acting performances. She plays Miss Mona Stangley, owner of a century-old brothel in fictional Gilbert, Texas. She treats her girls well, is on good terms with the sheriff and even donates to the community. But when crusading TV reporter Melvin P. Thorpe begins to expose the brothel, Mona faces a difficult choice.
Nettles got her start on Broadway in the musicals Chicago and Waitress, and appeared in a handful of television shows, including Harriet and Underground. She has also recorded multiple albums and is a member of the country duo Sugarland with Kristian Bush. The pair have won a string of awards over the years.
2. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas II
Theo Ubique’s production of the musical (which is also a movie starring Dolly Parton) is raucous and bawdy. It is a rollicking good time with political upheaval and the kind of dance numbers that would make any community theatre critic swoon.
But the real magic of this show lies in its social commentary. It is not about sex itself, but the terror, hypocrisy and insanity always swirling around it. It is about how simple people leading simple lives had those lives complicated and even destroyed by sensational journalism and the moral majority.
Dolly Parton is Miss Mona in this Carol Hall musical. She gives a feisty and believable performance, with a nice chemistry with Burt Reynolds as Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd. This is one of the defining moments in their long career together. It’s a good reminder of what they could do when they were at the top of their game.
3. The Secret Life of Shirlee Kenyon
In this hilarious movie based on the beloved Dolly Parton song, Shirlee Kenyon flees her small town and dead-beat boyfriend for Chicago. After accidentally being hired to host a radio problem phone-in show, her common sense advice and down home wisdom win over listeners and soon she’s known as “Doctor Shirlee.” However, newspaper reporter Jack Russell (James Woods) suspects that she isn’t properly licensed as a doctor and begins to investigate.
Nettles, who was a member of the country duo Sugarland before her solo career, plays the lead character in this solar movies film. She’s also known for her roles as Dolly Parton’s mother in the 2015 TV movie Coat of Many Colors, and as Eliza Brodress in the HBO series Harriet. Michael Madsen, who appeared in Quentin Tarantino films like Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill, portrays Shirlee’s deceitful boyfriend.
4. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas III
As the lead singer of Sugarland and a successful solo artist, Jennifer Nettles is used to taking the spotlight. She recently sang in the Broadway musical Waitress, and also has appeared as Dolly Parton’s mother in Coat of Many Colors and its sequel, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, as well as Eliza Brodress in the film Harriet and on the HBO series Underground.
This fun musical drama takes a look at small-town vice and political side-stepping, in this case the Chicken Ranch brothel run by Miss Mona Stangley. It has some of the best actors working today, from Burt Reynolds (at his cockiest) to Charles Durning to Dom DeLuise. The language in the show is authentic, creating a world foreign to most, but rich with detail and local flavor. This is a story about the fear, hypocrisy and insanity that always swirl around sex.
5. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas IV
Singer and actress Jennifer Nettles, best known for her work with Sugarland, has had a successful solo career as well. She has also appeared in musicals on Broadway (Chicago and Waitress), and played Dolly Parton’s mother in the TV movie Coat of Many Colors.
The film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical focuses on Miss Mona, the madam of the Chicken Ranch boarding house in small town Texas. Her brothel is well respected by the locals, but she faces threats from pious journalists and politicians who want to shut her down.
Carol Hall’s rollicking score, and the strong performances from the ensemble cast make The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas a pleasant time out. Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton have great chemistry as she and him tickle each other’s fancy with a devilish sense of humor.