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by Michael Portantiere

It's a Typical Day in Dogpatch, U.S.A.

  • For the next two weeks, the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row will be home to a staged concert revival of one of the most entertaining (if perhaps under-appreciated) musicals of the mid-20th century: L'il Abner, based on the Al Capp comic strip of the same title, with terrific music by Gene de Paul and brilliantly witty lyrics by the great Johnny Mercer. (Sample: "Who'd think o' marryin' / An octogenarian?")

    Tom Mills directs and choreographs the show for Musicals Tonight!, with Bill Coyne in the title role and Jessica Wagner as Daisy Mae, Mary Stout and Roger Rifkin as Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Jody Cook as Marryin' Sam, David Brent Howard as Earthquake McGoon, Mike O'Carroll as General Bullmoose, John Alban Coughlan as Senator Fogbound, Dan Debenport as Dr. Finsdale, Alison Maldonado as Stupefyin' Jones, Gary Littman as Evil Eye Fleagle, and Jennifer Winegardner doing double duty as Moonbeam McSwine and Appassionata Von Climax. (Don't you just love those character names?)

    L'il Abner features musical direction by James Stenborg, and the ensemble consists of Lindsay Braverman, Savannah Frazier, BJ Olson, David Raimo, and Aaron Young. The show runs March 20-April 1 at the Lion; for more information, visit musicalstonight.org.

    [All photos: Copyright 2012 by Michael Portantiere].















    Published on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Michael Portantiere has more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has interviewed theater notables for NPR.org, PLAYBILL, STAGEBILL, and OPERA NEWS, and has written notes for several cast albums. Michael is co-author of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: BEHIND THE MYLAR CURTAIN, published in 2008 by Hal Leonard/Applause. Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several major websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.) He can be reached at [email protected]

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