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Meet the original Sadie Hawkins with Limelight Theatre Works

August 23, 2018

“Li’l Abner,” the birthplace of Sadie Hawkins and her nationwide dance, is being performed “script-in-hand” by Limelight Theatre Works at the Civic Auditorium at 803 S. Eighth Ave. in Kankakee on Friday.

The musical comedy, originally performed on Broadway in 1956, is an adaptation of the long-running comic strip written and drawn by cartoonist Al Capp. Capp’s comic ran from 1934 to 1977 in several newspapers across the country, including the Daily Journal.

In “Li’l Abner,” the fictional U.S. town of Dogpatch is populated by a clan of hillbillies.

The people of Dogpatch are “simplistic, laid back and live easily,” said Tyler McMahon, Limelight co-founder who plays Dogpatch resident Marryin’ Sam in the musical.

When the U.S. government announces their plans to make Dogpatch a bomb testing site, the residents attempt to save the day. Also contained in the storyline is an epic young love, Yokumberry tonic and, of course, the introduction of Sadie Hawkins.

“Li’l Abner,” directed by Bonnie Brewer in her first direction for Limelight, and conducted by Julie Tomisek, marks the third year of Limelight’s summer concert series performed “script-in-hand.” Performing with a visible script allows Limelight to cut costs and save time.

“The audience appreciates the simplicity,” McMahon said.

The performance has only essential props and features no real set design, costumes or choreography.

In previous years, Limelight performed “Carousel” and “The Music Man” during their “script-in-hand” concert series. The series is sponsored by Riverside Senior Life.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday, but arrive early to set up your lawn chairs and grab a drink of Limelight’s homemade Yokumberry tonic. Admission is free.

For more information, find Limelight Theatre Works on Facebook or email limelighttheatreworks@gmail.com.

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