Reprise! Li'l Abner with Martsolf, Burkhardt, Rigby and Willard Begins Feb. 5

By Andrew Gans
05 Feb 2008

Brandi Lynn Burkhardt as Daisy Mae and Eric Martsolf as Li'l Abner in Reprise! Broadway's Best production of Li'l Abner
Brandi Lynn Burkhardt as Daisy Mae and Eric Martsolf as Li'l Abner in Reprise! Broadway's Best production of Li'l Abner
Photo by Michael Lamont

The Reprise! Broadway's Best production of Li'l Abner the musical that was inspired by the characters in Al Capp's comic strip plays UCLA's Freud Playhouse Feb. 5-17 with an official opening Feb. 6.

Directed by Michael Michetti, the cast features Eric Martsolf (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, "Passions") in the title role with Cathy Rigby (Peter Pan) as Mammy Yokum, Fred Willard (Reprise! Promises, Promises and Anything Goes) as General Bullmoose, Brandi Burkhardt (Jekyll & Hyde) as Daisy Mae, John Ganun as Earthquake McGoon, Michael Kostroff as Marryin' Sam and Robert Towers as Pappy Yokum.

The company also includes Kim Arnett as Tobacco Rhoda, Christian Boeving as Bodybuilder, Joel Brooks as Senator Phogbound, Tanea Brooks as Stupefyin' Jones, Larry Cedar as Dr. Finsdale, Gary Franco as Dancer/Evil Eye, TJ Holban as Bodybuilder, Michael Lopez as Mayor, Jamie Luner as Appassionata, Kim Mikesell as Dancer/Scarlett, Justin Robertson as Scientist, Jeff Soskin as Bodybuilder, Leslie Stevens as Moonbeam McSwine and Amir Talai as Scientist. The ensemble comprises Louis Becker, Zaylin Bescoby, Wilkie Ferguson, Ray Garcia, Lauren Melendez, Yusif Nasar, John Todd, Debbie Zaltman, Sarah Girard, Arthur Ross and Natalie Wachen.

The creative team also features Lee Martino (choreography) and Darryl Archibald (musical direction) with designs by Brad Kaye (scenic designer), Tom Ruzika and Donna Ruzika (lighting designers), Tommy Marquez (costume designer) and Phillip G. Allen (sound designer).

"Welcome to Dogpatch, U.S.A.," read Li'l Abner show notes, "which has just been deemed 'the most unnecessary, no account' town in the country. In a scramble to keep Dogpatch from being used for atomic testing and to also save the beloved Sadie Hawkins day, Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae and the other wild and colorful citizens of Dogpatch must find a reason why their town is worth something."



Winner of two Tony Awards, Li'l Abner was first directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd. It opened Nov. 15, 1956, at Broadway's St. James Theatre and played for 693 performances. The original Broadway company included Edith Adams as Daisy Mae, Stubby Kaye as Marryin' Sam and Peter Palmer in the title role. It has never been revived on Broadway. Songs include "Namely You," "The Country's in the Very Best of Hands" and "Jubilation T. Cornpone."

The UCLA Freud Playhouse is located in Macgowan Hall. Tickets for Reprise! productions are available by calling (310) 825-2101. For more information visit www.reprise.org.