Theyz Awl on Kickapoo Joy Juice
TITLE: Li'l Abner (Musical)
GENRE: Comic Opera (based on the Braodway musical)
CAST: Peter Palmer, Leslie Parish, Stubby Kaye, Howard St. John, Julie Newmar, Stella Stevens, Billie Hayes, Joe E Marks, Bern Hoffman, Al Nesor, Robert Strauss, Carmen Alvarez, Diki Lerner and if that wasn't enough, uncredited appearances by Jerry Lewis, Donna Douglas, Valerie Harper (and I swear I saw Betty Hutton in the Chorus line)
PLOT: The US Government plans to keep the fall out from nuclear tests in Nevada from ruining Las Vegas by turning Dogpatch into its new testing site. The need to evacuate the town conflicts with the traditional Sadie Hawkins Day Celebration. All heck breaks loose as they try to save the town, Li'l Abner and all the rest from the greedy hands of an evil tycoon who wants to own Pansy Abner's miraculous concoction for building strong bodies. All the while, Marryin' Sam keeps busy quoting the costs of all his wedding options.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9.3 of 10: They took the Broadway revisioning of the 1940 film onto the soundstages of Hollywood, hired the best available costumers, screenwriters and set designers then let Nelson Riddle re-score the music and made a new hit. I just cannot figure out why the leads of this effort did not become more famous and garner more important roles. They all are terrific in this musical on celluloid.
ADDED NOTES: Al Nesor, who's a ringer for Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H fame plays a character who professionally practices the "evil eye" and slithers across the stage like a weasel in a zoot suit. Comic Genius set to music.