L'IL ABNER An original musical comedy in 2 acts, 20 scenes. Book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank Based on characters created by Al Capp Lyrics & music by Johnny Mercer & Gene de Paul St James Theatre, New York - 15 November, 1956 (693 perfs) SYNOPSIS The wonderful tunes include Abner and Daisy's gentle duet, "Namely You", a dream ballad, "If I Had by Druthers", the hilarious show-stopper, "Jubilation T. Cornpone", General Bullmoose's "Progress Is the Root Of All Evil" and the political satire, "The Country's In the Very Best of Hands". The Sadie Hawkins Day Ballet and fine choral work contribute L'il Abner one of the classics of American musical theatre. STORY Daisy Mae is bent on capturing L'il Abner for herself on the next Sadie Hawkins Day when the women make the running. However, things are not quite as simple as that. Daisy Mae has a rival for Abner's affections, Appassionata von Climax. She has engaged a professional aide to help her win the race. It is Evil Eye Fleagle who produces his own distraction for the men, Stupefyin' Jones. But, a cloud hangs over Dogpatch. The US Government want to use the town where they all live as a site for atomic bomb experiments. Dogpatch was chosen as nothing important or historical ever took place there. The men-folk are taken away from the town for scientific experiments to make them handsome but they become completely uninterested in the opposite sex. Eventually, the men are restored to their former selves, ugly but potent. Marryin' Sam meanwhile has unearthed some salient facts about the founder of the town, the sensible but cowardly Jubilation T. Cornpone, with a catalogue of his civil war disasters. This historical reference means the town can be saved and even though the Sadie Hawkins Day race doesn't turn out quite as planned (Earthquake McGoon catches Daisy and Appassionata von Climax gets Abner) by the end of the show Abner and Daisy Mae are married to each other, the ceremony being performed, of course, by Marryin Sam. Al Capp's creation of the community of Dogpatch - one of the most underrated areas in the whole of the USA - learn that their town has been earmarked for a testing site for atom bombs, the residents, Daisy Mae, Abner Yokum, Pappy and Mammy Yokum, Marryin' Sam, Earthquake McGoon, Stupifyin' Jones and the rest, discover that, many years ago, their beloved community of Dogpatch was designated as a national shrine. The satire that always permeates the Al Capp comic strips here finds occasion to mock big business, nuclear policy and the security programme in America in the mid-50s. CAST: Male 14 : Female 11 : Plus various minor roles and chorus. Original Cast - (in order of appearance) Lonesome Polecat: Anthony [Tony] Mordente. Hairless Joe: Chad Block. Romeo Scragg: Marc Breaux. Clem Scragg: James Hurst. Alf Scragg: Anthony Salverino.