L’il Abner

Al Capp’s world famous characters have been placed in an upbeat musical extravaganza. It is a satisfying mixture of hillbilly nonsense and sharp, critical humor that appeals to the sophisticated theatregoer as well as the child within us all.
The curtain opens on “A Typical Day” in Dogpatch, U.S.A. where the motley and lovable characters who inhabit this burgh introduce themselves to the audience. There is the homely Scragg family and Marryin’ Sam, as well as Earthquake McGoon, Daisy Mae, Li’l Abner and Mammy Yokum. It only takes a moment to see that leisure time is at the heart of the local economy and drinking Kickapoo Joy Juice, fishing and the popular Sadie Hawkins Day Dance are the favorite pastimes for Dogpatch’s citizens.
What starts out as a calm day down at the fishing hole is quickly interrupted for Abner and his friends when a “Cornpone Meetin’” is called in the town square by Senator Jack S. Phogbound. This can mean one of two things-either an event of national importance has occurred, or there’s to be “a hideous change in the Dogpatch way of life.” Sure enough, a change is in the wind because the government has completed a study finding Dogpatch to be “the most unnecessary, no-account” place in the whole country, thereby setting the stage for evacuation of the town so that atomic testing can take place.
Consternation abounds among the townsfolk. If they are to be evacuated, Dogpatch’s annual Sadie Hawkins Day Dance will be cancelled. And that means that Daisy Mae won’t have a chance to catch her sweetheart Li’l Abner in what is the only way that boy can join girl in Dogpatch. Oh no! A solution must be found-something that proves their town is a “necessary” place after all. An extensive search ensues and Mammy finally comes up with the item to save the town from extinction-it’s the Yokumberry tonic which she has fed her muscle-bound son, Abner, every day of his ‘natcherel life. The potion is sped off to Washington for further testing, and it looks like Dogpatch and its way of life will be saved.
The communal sigh of relief doesn’t last long before things take another twist. It seems that while Abner is interested in doing the “100% Red-Blooded American” thing, and will give his potion to the U.S. of A., General Bullmoose wants to control the potion himself. If Abner won’t sell it to him, Bullmoose will get it some other way, namely in the form of his shapely girlfriend Appasionata Von Climax. Suddenly Daisy Mae’s future as Mrs. Abner Yokum looks grim, and she and the rest of Dogpatch descend on Washington to save Abner from Bullmoose and Appasionata.
The evening before the Yokumberry tonic is to be released as the cure-all for puny men who want to be strong, a flaw is found in the formula. Abner’s life is saved, but once again the town of Dogpatch is in jeopardy. Isn’t there anything that can be done to save it from becoming a nuclear wasteland? Just as all seems lost, Jubilation T. Cornpone, Dogpatch’s founder, saves the day. It seems his statue was declared a “national shrine” by Abraham Lincoln, given all that Cornpone had done in bringing down the Confederacy during the Civil War. The day is truly saved: Abner can marry Daisy Mae and everyone settles down for a peaceful life of rustic simplicity in Dogpatch, U.S.A.

Cast/Characters

Lonesome Polecat – Neil Beaton

Hairless Joe – Holland White

Romeo Scragg – Connor Giles

Alf Scragg – Jonathan Block

Clem Scragg – Casey Campbell

Moonbeam McSwine – Ellen Cheney

Marryin’ Sam – Samantha Lin Pool

Earthquake McGoon – Michael A. Eberhardy

Daisy Mae – Brenda Sinnen

Pappy Yokum – Jim Wucherer

Mammy Yokum – Dee Paepke

Abner – Zach Pledl

Mayor Dawgmeat – Russell Franzen Jr.

Senator Phogbound – Jeff Kelm

Dr. Finsdale – Chris Fontaine

Government Man – Jim Johnson

Available Jones – Clark R. Kirst

Stupefyin’ Jones – Sarah Pittner

Speedy McRabbit – Ben Buchanan

General Bullmoose – Mitch Birkey

Appassionata Von Climax – Eileen McCormick

Evil Eye Fleagle – Brian M. Leffin

Dr. Smithborn – Neil Beaton

Dr. Krogmeyer – Jackie Blindauer

Dr. Scheifetz – Danielle Rammer

Creighton –  Sean Philipps

Muscle Men – Joel Pence, Aaron Schmit

Bullmoose Secretaries – Jonathan Block, Casey Campbell, Ben Johnson, Holland White

Dogpatch Citizens – Jackie Blindauer, Tegan Herman, Susan Chambers Johnson, Tiffany Merriman, Sean Philipps, Elizabeth Plotka, Tamara Richelle Pool, Danielle Rammer, Jennifer Schleinz, Sara St. Thomas, Heidi Weinaug, Christy Zimmermann, Michael Kevin Covey, Ben Johnson, Angela Landgraf, Casey Stapel, C. Hope White, Alexandria Wickland, Sydney Wickland

Production Staff

Director: Ralph Maffongelli

Musical Director: Janice Westphal

Choreographer: Veronica Hilke

Assistant to Choreographer: Eileen McCormick

Stage Manager: Shari Roehl

Asst. Stage Manager: Katy Ries

Technical Director: Dustin L. Uhl

Set Design: Dustin L. Uhl

Costume Design: Bernard J. Markevitch

Light Design: Rick Klein

Sound Design: Dave Steinmeyer, John Wartke

Properties: Nan Gibson, Jackie Blindauer

Make-Up Design: Bobbi Schad

Master Carpenter: Lee Schneider

Paint Master: Colleen Bertram

Orchestra

Conductor/ Keyboard: Janice Westphal

Bass: Lee Steffen

Clarinet: Curt Hancock

Flute: Cathy Perronne

Guitar/ Banjo: Craig Peaslee

Percussion: M. Eric Pye

Trumpet: Tom Engman

Violin: Karen Bruinooge