Last night, my lovely wife Christine and I, along with our dear friends Bob Skir and Jim Newman, went over to the Freud Playhouse on the UCLA campus to see the Reprise! production of the musical Li'l Abner, starring Eric Martsolf as Abner, Brandi Burkhart as a prefect Daisy Mae, Michael Kostroff as Marryin' Sam, Fred Willard as General Bullmoose, Jamie Luner as Appassionata Von Climax, and Cathy Rigby (yes, that Cathy Rigby) as Mammy Yokum. The show was, to coin an unfortunate phrase, more fun than a sack of squirmin' squirrels. That all the various Reprise! casts manage to stage a show with such elaborate dance numbers in little more than a week's rehearsal time never ceases to amaze me, and this cast was certainly no exception. This show's got a lot of great singing, a lot of great dancing, and a whole lot of laughs.
Sitting front row center as we always do, I did, however, notice something that might not be quite so obvious from a few rows back. The stunning actress Tanea Brooks, who portrays Stupifyin' Jones (and, brother, I do mean stupifyin') looks exactly as if she had been drawn by Abner's cartoonist creator Al Capp; same style of eyes, lips, body, you name it. It just made a memorable character that much more memorable.
There isn't a whole more I can add that my good buddy and master blogger (now why does that sound dirty?) Mark Evanier hasn't already covered in greater detail over on his exceptional website, save to mention that Li'l Abner will be playing at the Freud through next Sunday, February 17th, so if you can lay your hands on some tickets before then, you really ought to. It's an evening well worth your time.
If you'd like a little sample of what I've been talking about, why not click on this handy-dandy link right here and take a quick peek backstage at the production for yourself?
Who says we're not a full service blog?