Who better to reconcile them feuding Hatfields and McCoys than the late Charles Ludlam? His 1972 country-western musical spoof, Corn, won an Obie for Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
The show was revived in 1978 but had remained unhusked since then, though the campy Ridiculous troupe has pressed on since Ludlam's death from AIDS 10 years ago. Under the tutelage of Everett Quinton, who joined Ridiculous in 1976, the company has revived several Ludlam works (Bluebeard, How To Write A Play, Camille), and since April 2, they've been growing Corn again -- but the field goes fallow May 25, at NY's Chelsea Playhouse space.
Corn again presents Lola-Lola, the world's most famous C&W star, who brings the feuding families together through "sheer star-power, love and good eatin'."
Not only did Virgil Young write the tunes for Corn, he and the original Lola-Lola, Lola Pashalinski, ended up forming a real country band ("Lola Lola And The Lucky Stars"), which performed country standards and new tunes by Young.
Appearing in this "Finger-Snappin Good" musical will be Ridiculous regulars Quinton, Eureka [sic], Stephen Pell and Lisa Herbold, as well as Christa Kirby, Lenys Sama, Charlie Schroeder and Jimmy Szczepanek. Designers are Gary Hayes (sets), Ramona Ponce (costumes), Richard Currie (lighting), and Zsamira Sol Ronquillo (wigs). Lance Cruce will serve as musical director.
Quinton, who directs Corn, has appeared in more than 40 works at Ridiculous, including the Obie-winning Mystery Of Irma Vep, Call Me Sarah Bernhardt, Medea and Salammbo.
Because the Ridiculous Theatrical Company was forced to move from its longtime home at One Sheridan Square, after complaining about leaks and vermin, for the past couple of years the troupe now works at various Off Broadway venues, including Theatre For The New City and Chelsea Playhouse.
For tickets ($30) and information on Corn, which opened April 2, call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz