Happy New Y’ar everyone! Here we present to you a round-up of all the amazing performances of Li’l Abner, the musical, in 2019! If you have more for us to post on our site, email us at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
“New to KRT’s production, each actor will play a musical instrument at some point during the performance; all while accompanied by a four piece on-stage band. The actors take this new performance element a step further, pretending to fish and hunt with guitars and other instruments while singing the day away. Set in the fictional rural Appalachian town of Dogpatch U.S.A., the characters begin the show just as they would any other day. They go about their business washing clothes, fishing, and strumming their guitars when their peace is interrupted with the news that the United States government has deemed Dogpatch an “unnecessary town” that will soon be used to test the military’s new bomb. This news quickly has the town reeling as the residents don’t want to leave their homes and see their town destroyed. It’s then up to local hero, the young and handsome Abner Yokum, and friends to find something “necessary” about Dogpatch and save their town. Little does he know that answer might lay in the Yokumberry tree planted in his own backyard, the same berry that gave him great strength and height. This tree might be Dogpatch’s only chance to be saved. Find out if these underdogs can get this berry to Washington D.C. and save their town!
KRT identified with the challenge faced by the residents of Dogpatch. Just as the characters work to deem Dogpatch a “necessary” town, KRT works to give their rural Falmouth the very best theatre it can provide and make attending a show here “worth the drive.” KRT invites all to attend a performance this summer.”
“Moorhead’s Horizon Middle School Theatre brings the rip-roaring, foot-stomping classic musical Li’l Abner to life at the new Horizon Middle School Performing Arts Center.”
Bob Frame has wanted to be part of another production of “Li’l Abner” for almost 50 years.
Frame, who heads the theater department at Cayuga Community College, is directing the Auburn Players Community Theatre’s production of the musical based on Al Capp’s long-running comic strip this weekend at the college. One reason Frame has waited so long to do the show again after performing it in middle school, he said, is the difficulty of finding suitable actors for the title role.
But in Shane Heidecker, a performer in the Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre program, Frame found the “strong, good lookin’ guy who can sing” to be his Abner.
With book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, music by Gene De Paul and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, the musical takes place in the strip’s hillbilly-spoofing setting of Dogpatch. Daisy Mae (Jessica Alexander) tries to catch Abner’s eye, but he’d rather catch fish — until Dogpatch is selected to become a nuclear test site. The town’s quest to prove it’s worth saving leads Abner, and the tonic that gives him strength, to Washington. But General Bullmoose (Kristina Abbott) plots to steal the formula, while wrestler Earthquake McGoon (McCuin Gould) plots to steal Daisy Mae’s hand in marriage.
Though based on a humble comic strip, the musical is big, Frame said. He directs more than 40 performers on stage, who sing and dance in front of scenery made by Syracuse designer Navroz Dabu, and under lighting designed by Michael Broughton, formerly of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Their colorful costumes, meanwhile, come with plenty of patches, to be sure.
“The world they’ve created for the actors to live in has been so wonderful,” Frame said.
Though the show’s secondary plots involve Republicans and Democrats who hate each other, as well as capitalists trying to seize control of a product, “Li’l Abner” doesn’t point its finger in any particular directions, Frame said. And its characters are broad sketches, he continued, so not knowing anything about the comic strip won’t stop audiences from having a good time.
“It’s the old-style musical where you walk in, you sit down, you toe-tap and you enjoy the story happening in front of you,” he said. “And you come out feeling good.”