Opening Night – Wish Me Away

Thursday, May 17, 2012 @ 7pm / Party @ 9:30pm
Chely Wright in attendance

As The Dixie Chicks learned all too well, the world of country music isn’t the most inviting place for anyone who deviates from the narrow Nashville norms. In 2010, singer Chely Wright put this conservative environment to the test when she became the first major country music performer to publicly come out as lesbian. Having made a strong debut as the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Vocalist in 1995, Wright went on to score big hits with “Shut Up and Drive” and “Single White Female.” She was romantically linked with superstar Brad Paisley and was invited to perform at “The Mother Church of Country Music,” the Grand Ole Opry.

Behind the scenes, though, Wright was struggling with her sexuality and her Christian faith, and she was haunted by a difficult childhood in rural Kansas. After attempting suicide, she decided to risk her career by releasing Like Me, a memoir about her years in the closet. Named after a track from Wright’s album “Lifted Off the Ground,” Wish Me Away is a candid profile of a groundbreaking figure in music history. —Jimmy Radosta

Wish Me Away: Dirs Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf 2011 USA 96 min.