Carisa Schreiner and Dawn Mefford led the Frederick High School Choir in a production of the Broadway play “Lil Abner” on Nov. 17 and 18. The play opened to a large crowd Thursday night and was an immediate hit.
The play is a spoof on hillbillies and traditional gender roles with one of the main themes the Sadie Hawkins Day race where the girls get to marry whichever eligible bachelor she catches. Daisy Mae, played by the talented Summer Watson, has her sights set on Lil Abner Yokum, played by the equally talented Ryan Ard. Unfortunately for Daisy Mae, Lil Abner just doesn’t have any use for romance in his life.
A government man comes to tell the good people of Dogpatch that their town will be demolished because there is absolutely nothing useful about them. That is, until he finds out about the Yokumberry Tonic that Mammy Yokum makes from a tree that grows in her front yard, the only one of its kind, that proves that Dogpatch is worth keeping on the map.
Mammy was played by Logan Coleman, who was unrecognizable in the role. Coleman is a senior and this was her last performance in a high school musical. She certainly made her exit a memorable one.
“The musicals that are put on each year by the Frederick High School Choir are one of my favorite activities that I have been blessed to participate in,” Coleman said. “Being in these productions has taught me a lot about teamwork, effort, and what I can accomplish with hard work. This has had such a lasting effect on me that I hope to continue performing in theater productions while in college. I will definitely miss being under the lights, center stage, at Frederick High. Not only that, but I will miss performing with my fellow classmates under the direction of Mrs. Schreiner and Dawn Mefford.”
One of the highlights of the play was when the government man, played by sixth-grader Jake Schreiner, tried the Yokumberry Tonic. The other cast members surrounded him and when they moved, Jake had been replaced by his father, Kirk Schreiner, to show that the tonic caused scrawny men to become handsome and brawny. The father was an unexpected but hilarious surprise.
The play ended with everything going back to its natural order and Daisy Mae got her man.
Other cast members included Jarrett Garza as Marryin’ Sam, Aaron Dill as Dr. Rassumen T. Finsdale, Brianna Weber as Moonbeam McSwine, Bryce Haynes as Earthquake McGoon and Cody Middick as Pappy Yokum.
No matter the part, each player made the role his or her own. The dedication displayed by each of these young actors, actresses, and each member of the technical crew from scenes to stage managers to light and sound technicians, was phenomenal and culminated in a highly successful production.
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.