“Li’l Abner” serves up a side-splitting good time

Reviewed by Christian Hornaday
Times-News correspondent

Left to right: Michael Sheehy, Joan Hedrick, Jordan Clifton and Justin Ables are part of the cast for "Li'l Abner" at Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre / Sam Roberts, Times-News

SNOW CAMP — “Musical comedy” finds a new meaning in Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre’s production of “Li’l Abner.”
   Once a comic strip, this Broadway musical from the 1950s keeps the audience on its toes with side-splitting jokes and jaw-dropping, eyebrow-raising commentary about modern-day events and people.
   From their poor grammar to the simple things they do, the residents of Dogpatch give TV’s “The Beverly Hillbillies” a run for their money.
   The seemingly simple choreography makes the characters seem even more real, and the music was a consistent surprise — from singing about how “The Country is in the Very Best of Hands,” which was filled with comments on present-day politics, to how “Progress is the Root of All Evil,” which reminds the audience of how life used to be compared to the technology of today.
   The lead female role, Daisy Mae Scragg, played by Joan Hedrick, is an 18-year-old small town girl whose No. 1 goal in life is to be the perfect wife to Li’l Abner Yokum, played by Jordan Clifton. Abner wants no part of Daisy Mae’s plan, but she chases after him regardless.
   Throughout the show, there were countless instances that will make the audience unsure about the outcome of Daisy Mae and Abner’s relationship. Much like the twists and turns of a modern-day soap opera, the audience will be left wondering what will happen when Abner is “caught” by a new girl at the annual Sadie Hawkins Day Race or when Daisy Mae has to promise herself to another man, Earthquake McGoon (played by Michael Sheehy), in order to save Abner’s life.
   With humor in every form, “Li’l Abner” offers the audience a good laugh while also showing how even the most “unnecessary” towns have significance. Proficiently directed by Ed Whitehead, “Li’l Abner” is a great way to close out the Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre’s summer season.
   “Li’l Abner” will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, 301 Drama Road, Snow Camp. Tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for children under 12 and $14 for seniors 60 years old and up. For more details, visit snowcampdrama.com or call (336) 376-6948.

Christian Hornaday is a junior at Southern Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.



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