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Published: Thursday, 7/26/2012

Troupe promises plenty of silly fun with 'Li'l Abner'

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER

NAPOLEON -- A foot-stomping good time is on tap this weekend when Maumee Valley Civic Theatre opens Li'l Abner at the John L. Johnson Auditorium in Napoleon.

"It's a fun show right from beginning to end," said producer Ken Neuenschwander. "It's so silly, silly on so many different points: the characters are all really broad-drawn characters which makes them so likeable."

Based on Al Capp's comic strip of the same name, this energetic musical won two 1957 Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress (Edith Adams) and Best Choreography. "All of the chorus numbers are just absolutely great fun because it's all about hillbillies and people who live in the mountains," Neuenschwander said.

Li'l Abner, played by Dave Zwiebel, is perpetually pursued by Daisy Mae, played by Megan Badenhop. He has enormous muscles courtesy of a special tonic. The zany townspeople hope this tonic can save them from government eviction.

"Li'l Abner" will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday at John L. Johnson Auditorium, 303 W. Main St., Napoleon. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Information: 419-966-2532 or mvctohio.org.

Summer Adventure

Children, tweens, and teens are schooling themselves in creativity this weekend as three separate productions take the stage in area venues.

The Sandusky State Theatre concludes its second summer workshop with two productions of Godspell Junior.

Children ages 11 to 17 will use pantomime, acrobatics, clowning, and charades to bring to life the parables of Jesus. The score includes memorable songs "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" and "Day By Day."

"Godspell Junior" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday at Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets are $12. Information:419-626-1950 or sanduskystate.com.

Students from 13 area schools will perform today through Sunday in 3B Productions' Ragtime School Edition at Maumee Indoor Theatre.

Ragtime tells the story of three classes of people in early 20th-century America. Its rich musical score includes marches, cakewalks, ragtime, and gospel and won four 1998 Tony Awards including Best Original Score.

"Ragtime" will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St., Maumee. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, and $15 for preferred seating. Information: www.3bproductions.org.

Summerstock Toledo, a student-run theater, opens My Favorite Year Friday at Ottawa Hills High School.

Students produce, direct, design, and choreograph this 1950s-era musical about a television sketch writer assigned to babysit a reckless Hollywood star before his television guest appearance.

Summerstock includes high school students and recent graduates of Central Catholic High School, St.Ursula Acadamy, Notre Dame Academy, St. John's Jesuit High School, St. Francis de Sales High School, Perrysburg High School, Toledo School for the Arts, and Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Mich.

"My Favorite Year" will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in Ottawa Hills High School, 2532 Evergreen Rd., Ottawa Hills. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Information: toledosummerstock.webs.com.

Hitler's Hell

Adolf Hitler and literary figure Ivan Karamazov struggle to find redemption and a place in heaven Saturday when the Toledo Repertoire Theatre's Edgy Rep Reading presents Ivan and Adolf: The Last Man in Hell at Owens Community College.

Philosopher Stephen Vicchio's script delves into these characters' quests for redemption: Hitler, who personifies evil, and Karamazov, who can't forgive or understand why evil exists. Which one will be the last denizen in hell and which will move on to heaven?

"Ivan and Adolf: The Last Man in Hell" will be read at 8 p.m. Saturday at Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. A pre-show reception is at 7:30. Tickets are $10. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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