A Texas cow town will host a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay homage to the epic TV miniseries.
The Hat Creek Cattle Company is back in business — with Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones) front and center — for The Lonesome Dove Reunion & Trail. This months-long celebration of the classic miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will include events at multiple locations in Fort Worth and Albany, Texas, from January through July.
The centerpiece of this celebration — which sold out months in advance — will be a March 31 gala Lonesome Dove reunion dinner at River Ranch in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. According to event organizers, Duvall and Jones have committed to attending, as have costars Anjelica Huston (who played Clara Allen), Diane Lane (Lorena Wood), Ricky Schroder (Newt Dobbs), Glenne Headly (Elmira Johnson), Chris Cooper (July Johnson), D.B. Sweeney (Dishwater “Dish” Boggett), Barry Corbin (Roscoe Brown), David Carpenter (Needle Nelson), Barry Tubb (Jasper Fant), William Sanderson (Lippy Jones), and Bradley Gregg (Sean O’Brien). But wait, there’s more: Director Simon Wincer, Emmy Award-winning costume designer Van Ramsey, set designer Cary White, cinematographer Douglas Milsome, property master Eric Williams, producer Dyson Lovell, executive producer Suzanne De Passe, and screenwriter-executive producer Bill Wittliff will also be on hand.
“Everybody who was involved in it just loves Lonesome Dove,” says Wittliff, who earned an Emmy nomination for his script based on McMurtry’s novel. “I mean, Duvall has said he feels it’s the best part he’s ever had. And the whole thing has become — gosh, is ‘cult’ the word? Like I say: People who were in it, love it. People who’ve seen it, seem to love it. So everybody who can come is trying to come.”
A series of events will give the public unprecedented access to the artifacts of the cultural touchstone. Four exhibitions — Lonesome Dove: The Art of Story at the Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth, Bullets and Bustles: Costumes of Lonesome Dove at the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth, Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff at the Cattle Raisers Museum in Fort Worth, and Lonesome Dove: Highlights of the Wittliff Collections at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany — will mark the first time a number of materials from the miniseries have been loaned out from the Wittliff Collections. “We’ve had exhibits of photographs go out elsewhere,” says Dr. David L. Coleman, director of the Wittliff. “But this will be the first time the artifacts, or anything else from the archives, have been displayed elsewhere, which we hope will make this all the more special an occasion.
“When you think about it,” Coleman adds, “it’s amazing that a miniseries that first aired way back in 1989 still has the power, and commands the attention, that Lonesome Dove does. But it’s such a big and sweeping story. It hits all the right emotional notes, and it continues to draw new audiences to it all these years — all these decades — later. It’s something that people cherish passing on to later generations. Especially in a family, where you have grandparents showing it to their grandchildren. It’s really quite remarkable.”
In Fort Worth, the Lonesome Dove Reunion & Trail will present screenings of the epic miniseries March 28 – 29 at Sundance Square, as well as panel discussions with the cast and crew (schedules permitting) March 30 at Texas Christian University and March 31 at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Fort Worth Library.
As Gus McCrae would say: “It’s gonna be quite a party.”
For more information about The Lonesome Dove Reunion & Trail, visit www.lonesomedovereunion.com.