Li'l Abner (1956)

LI'L ABNER (1956)

Book by NORMAN PANAMA & MELVIN FRANK
Lyrics by JOHNNY MERCER
Music by GENE DE PAUL

Based on cartoon characters created by AL CAPP

Directed by GREG MacKELLAN
Musical Director DAVE DOBRUSKY
Choreographed by TOM SEGAL

Al Capp’s beloved cartoon characters sing and dance their way through this rip-roaring, foot-stomping 1950s classic! Dogpatch’s most prominent citizens find themselves dealing with Washington political intrigue, a nuclear threat, and the vitally important Sadie Hawkins Day race!

The colorfully comic score includes If I Had My Druthers, Namely You, Jubilation T. Cornpone, I’m Past My Prime, Progress is the Root of All Evil, and  The Country’s in the Very Best of Hands .

BIOGRAPHIES
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MICHAEL AUSTIN (Pappy Yokum) is making his eighth appearance with 42nd Street Moon.  Most recently, Michael created the role of Erik in the world premiere of Insignificant Others, and toured Italy with Shakespeare à Firenze's Compleat Works…Abridged.  Favorite local experiences include Minnie's Boys (Julie "Groucho" Marx) with Moon, The Rainmaker (Jim Curry) at California Conservatory Theatre and Much Ado About Nothing (Claudio) with The Curtain Theatre.  Additional Bay Area credits include work with TheatreWorks, Pacific Repertory Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre, San Jose Stage and others.
 
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GEMMA BAROZZI (Moonbeam McSwine, Dr. Schleifitz, etc.) earned her theatre degree from San Francisco State University in 1998, and then became an actor for California Theatre Center where she toured both nationally and internationally.  Ms. Barozzi has also performed at many theaters throughout California including Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA), Teatro Vision, City Lights Theater Company, and Bus Barn Stage, to name a few.  Favorite roles include Claire in Proof (City Lights), Felicia Lee in Santos and Santos (Teatro Vision), and performing in the opening season at Bonfante Gardens Theme Park.
 
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FIONA CHEUNG (Tobacco Rhoda/"Rag Offen"/Dance Captain) is delighted to return to 42nd Street Moon after performing this spring with the outstanding cast of Mack & Mabel!  In Fiona’s previous life she danced and choreographed on both coasts.  Now you can catch her biting ears in the upcoming feature film Silent Alarm, doing the cabbage-patch in the latest Heald College commercial, and singing torch songs at the Octavia Lounge on Friday nights.  Special thanks to Bobby Weinapple, Richard Nickol, San Francisco Academy for the Performing Arts (SFAPA), and Emily King for all the support.
 
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MOLLY ANNE COOGAN (Zsa Zsa et al) returns to 42nd Street Moon for her third production with the company.  Previous Moon credits include Mack & Mabel and Roar of the Greasepaint…  She has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, opened for Maya Angelou, and performed in Budapest, Hungary.  Favorite past productions include Kiss Me Kate (Kate), Suburbia (Sooze), This Is Our Youth (Jessica), and Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey). 
 
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ELIZABETH EARNHEART (Daisy Mae) is pleased to be performing with 42nd Street Moon, having recently returned to the Bay Area from NYC.  Last year Elizabeth sailed onboard Crystal Cruise Lines with the Repertory Theatre at Sea, performing in I Love You, You're Perfect..., All in the Timing, and Plaza Suite.  Bay Area credits include Vicki in The Full Monty, the title role in Sugar, and Diana in A Chorus Line.  Elizabeth is a graduate of San Jose State University, and will be returning there for her Master's this fall.
 
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J. CONRAD FRANK (Clem, et al) is a San Mateo native, and University of Oregon graduate who began his theatrical endeavors at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater and has since performed leading roles in various operatic and symphonic productions across the Bay Area, Aspen and Oregon.  Some favorite roles include Athamas in Handel’s Semele, Mary Sunshine in Chicago, and Sesto in Gulio Cesare.  He has also appeared in productions with the New Conservatory Theater and has been a Member of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and the Vancouver Early Music Festival.
 
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MICHAEL PATRICK GAFFNEY (General Bullmoose) was last seen on the boards of the Eureka Theatre lying in a pool of red glitter playing William Desmond Taylor in last season’s hit Mack & Mabel.   Other 42nd Street Moon shows include: Red Hot and Blue!, Minnie’s Boys, Hooray for What!, The Cabaret Girl, and his personal favorite Finian’s Rainbow.  Michael has worked with many Bay Area theater companies including:  California Conservatory Theatre, Unconditional Theatre Co., Shee Theatre, Broadway By the Bay, Encore Theatre and more.
 
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MATTHEW BRANDON HUTCHENS (Evil Eye Fleagle, Speedy McRabbit, et al) was recently seen in 42nd Street Moon’s A Little Brains – A Little Talent, our salute to ‘50s musicals.  He also appeared as Al Terwilliger in Too Many Girls.  He understudied the role of Phil Davis in the 2004 World Premier of White Christmas at the Curran Theatre.  Other credits: White Christmas (2005, Orpheum Theatre), Brigadoon (Foothill Musical Theatre, Dean Goodman Award), Gypsy (American Musical Theatre of San Jose), On the Twentieth Century (Ginny Award: Best Male Dancer, AMTSJ).  Graduate of Theatre Artists Institute (AMTSJ) and Summer Training Congress (ACT).  BFA in Musical Theatre from Notre Dame de Namur University, Phi Theta Kappa Honors.  www.MatthewBrandonHutchens.com.
 
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NINA JOSEPHS (Appassionata Von Climax) is happy to make her third appearance with 42nd Street Moon, having played Circe in The Golden Apple and the title role in Miss Liberty.  Other recent roles include Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Yum-Yum in Mikado, Anna Held in Tintypes and Lady Larken in Once Upon a Mattress for which she won a Dean Goodman Award.  Nina is a graduate of Bay Area Opera Theatre Institute, has studied extensively at American Conservatory Theater and is soon to graduate with her Bachelor's of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
 
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MEGHANN MAY (April Mudhen, Dr. Krogmeyer, et al) is delighted to be working with 42nd Street Moon for the very first time.  Favorite credits include Maria in West Side Story (Diablo Light Opera Company) for which she received the 2006 Shellie Award for Best Actress in a Musical; Sandy in Grease and Silly Girl in Beauty and the Beast (Contra Costa Musical Theatre); and Mrs. Fred in A Christmas Carol (Center Rep).  Ms. May holds her BA in Vocal Performance from Whitworth College.
 
 
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TOM ORR (Senator Phogbound) made his Moon debut as Freddie, the silent movie "villain" in Mack & Mabel.  An award-winning lyricist best known for his cult parody hit, Dirty Little Showtunes!, Tom has been seen in Naked Boys Singing! at Theatre Rhinoceros, Whoop-Dee-Doo! at New Conservatory and most recently appeared in Shopping! The Musical at the Shelton Theatre.  This is his fourth collaboration with Tom Segal, with whom he co-directed Simply Sondheim! A 75th Birthday Salute, in 2005.
 
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TONY PANIGHETTI (Dr. Finsdale, Mayor Dogmeat et al) is ecstatic to join Li’l Abner, his first 42nd Street Moon production.  Mr. Panighetti trained with The American Academy of Dramatic Arts/ West in Hollywood and performed for one season with Crystal Cruise Line’s Repertory Theater at Sea.  Some favorite roles include: Jerry/ Daphne in Some Like It Hot (Cabrillo Stage), Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (San Pedro Square), Man 1 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Sierra Repertory), and Reverend Parris in The Crucible (Playhouse San Francisco; Bay Area Critics’ Award-Best Ensemble ’05). 
 
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BENJAMIN PITHER (Available Jones, Dr. Smithborn, et al) makes Li’l Abner his second show with 42nd Street Moon, having just appeared in Mack & Mabel.  Past musical productions include The Fantasticks, City of Angels, Merrily We Roll Along, The Threepenny Opera, Fiorello!, and Oliver!  Benjamin earned his B.A. in Theater Arts from Brandeis University with highest honors and received the Parker Prize for Creative Arts.  He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London
 
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BRIAN M. ROSEN (Earthquake McGoon) has been seen on and off Bay Area stages since moving here in 1993.  He has performed with the Lamplighters, Playhouse West, and the San Francisco Symphony.  He has served as a music director with Theatre Rhinoceros, the Shotgun Players, and Goat Hall Productions.  In addition, Brian music directs an a cappella group (The Richter Scales), and is a soloist with the Punk Rock Orchestra.  He is an alumnus of Princeton University and Interlochen Arts Academy.
 
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DOUG SANTANA (Marryin' Sam) is excited to return to 42nd Street Moon after a two year hiatus!  NYC: Lyle Lyle Crocodile (Theatreworks USA).  National Tour:  Bye Bye Birdie.  Crystal Cruises/Repertory Theatre at Sea:  Greater Tuna, Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.  Recent regional credits include The Dancin' Kid in Johnny Guitar (Pacific Repertory Theatre) and Dave in The Full Monty (Marquee Production).  Graduate of Santa Clara University. 
 
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KATYA SMIRNOFF-SKYY (Stupefyin’ Jones) is the reigning diva of the Russian opera world and has become a favorite of the San Francisco cabaret scene.  Her show Katya Presents plays to sold out crowds on the third Sunday of each month at Martuni’s.  Born in communist Petrograd, Katya emerged from the womb singing.  During her conservatory years in Paris she met and wed the exiled Count Smirnoff-Skyy.  After his unfortunate demise, Katya was left with little more than a title, a voice and a fabulous collection of imperial jewels.  After the fall of communism, she packed her makeup bag and came to America.  Today, she plays concert halls, opera stages and the occasional drag bar.  katyasmirnoffskyy@yahoo.com
 
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LIBBY TRULL (Mammy Yokum) is thrilled to be back at 42nd Street Moon where she was last seen as Mrs. Juniper/Calypso in The Golden Apple. Since moving from the East Coast, where she acted professionally, she has also performed as Lucy in The Women at Center Repertory Co., Queen Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress at the Altarena Playhouse, Betty in Beggars Holiday at Marin Theatre Co., and has travelled thoughout Northern California with the children's theater company, Theater of All Possibilities.
 
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JASON WINFIELD (Li’l Abner) is so happy to be back at 42nd Street Moon.  Now living in New York, he just finished originating the role of Hector in the world premiere musical Coming to America at Kalliope Stage in Cleveland, Ohio.  Recent NY credits: Clifford in Side Man (Gallery Players), Adam in The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged (ArtsTrust), and Bud in a reading of the new Urban Cowboy tour (Winwood).  Past Bay Area shows:  Joe in Damn Yankees (Contra Costa Musical Theatre), John Kent in Roberta (42nd Street Moon), and Joe Cable in South Pacific (Willows). 
 
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GREG MACKELLAN (Director) is rather surprised to find himself in Dogpatch this summer, but is delighted nonetheless to be directing one of his favorite 1950s musicals.  After co-founding 42nd Street Moon in 1993, he turned his attention to directing.  His credits for the company have included such well-received shows as Minnie’s Boys, Paint Your Wagon, Roberta, Do I Hear a Waltz?, I Married an Angel, and a trio of Cole Porter delights, Nymph Errant, Silk Stockings, and Jubilee. He also guided the NEA-sponsored restoration of Arlen and Harburg’s Hooray for What, as well as the June 2004 Kern Gala with Rebecca Luker and 2003’s I Remember It Well with Leslie Caron.  Greg’s work on Cole Porter’s Out of This World won him a Goodman Award for direction and a BATCC nomination for his revised script, which was also produced to great acclaim from the London critics at the Chichester Festival in 2004.   In addition to the Moon cast albums of Leave It to Me! and Something for the Boys, Greg has produced seven CDs of rare theatre music with performers like Andrea Marcovicci, Patricia Morison, Judy Kaye, Paige O’Hara, Douglas Sills, Ann Morrison, and Jason Graae.

DAVE DOBRUSKY (Music Director) began his musical theater career as a child actor in his native Albuquerque.  After finding his talents better suited to playing piano, he attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he directed six Gilbert and Sullivan operas.  Li’l Abner marks his 35th production at 42nd Street Moon and also includes Mack & Mabel, The Golden Apple, Red Hot and Blue!, Minnie’s Boys, Can-Can,  Finian’s Rainbow, Paint Your Wagon,  By Jupiter, Leave It To Me! (recorded), Dear World, Out of This World,  Jubilee, and Louisiana Purchase.  Other Bay Area credits include The Fantasticks (Shakespeare at Stinson); Passion, Chess (New Conservatory Theatre); Violet and Side Show (TheatreWorks).

TOM SEGAL (Choreographer) is happy to be back and choreographing his third great big cartoon show with 42nd Street Moon.  Previous productions: Once upon a Mattress (Dean Goodman Choice Award), Minnie’s Boys.  He recently directed and staged the world premier of Shann Nix’s play, Alice Underground and co-directed the 75th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Simply Sondheim.  Mr. Segal is currently artistic advisor and associate choreographer for the national touring company Dance Through Time.  He also teaches at Solano Community College and Santa Rosa Junior College and is a founding board member of Keys to Achievement, an international piano education program for low-income children.

RUDY GUERRERO (Stage Manager) has previously appeared in 42nd Street Moon's productions of Can-Can, Once Upon a Mattress, and The Golden Apple.  Other local credits include performances at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Marin Shakespeare Company, Marin Theater Company, Pacific Alliance Stage Company, TheatreWorks, Willows Theater Company, and Word for Word.  He has a BFA in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory and a MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater.

LOUISE JARMILOWICZ (Costumer) is returning for her second 42nd Street Moon show.  She worked on The Golden Apple earlier this year and has been costuming around San Francisco for many years.  Previous groups with whom she has worked, designing and constructing costumes, include Children's Fairyland, Stage Door Conservatory, Lamplighters Musical Theater, the Dark Room Theater, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and many others.

MIKE OESCH (Lighting Design) has been the lighting designer for over 10Smuin Ballet of San Francisco productions, including eight world premieres.  Some of the theaters/organizations Mr. Oesch has worked with include the Williamstown Theatre Festival, San Diego Opera, Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose, El Teatro Campesino, Solano College Theatre, Dandelion Dance Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Sacramento Theatre Company, the New Conservatory Theatre Center, and Virginia Stage Company.  He has also been a guest artist at the University of California, Davis, and at Illinois’ Wesleyan University.