As act one opens, we meet ADELE DeRALE, gossip columnist for Hollywood’s dishiest movie magazine, Tales of Tinseltown. ADELE tells how “The Public Wants to Know” all the scandalous news on established and aspiring stars. We are about to witness how Adele's magazine has bolstered, then broken the career of one such shining star. The scene shifts to a small farm in Walnut, Iowa—the home of ELLIE HINKELBERRY. ELLIE is an All-American, adorable, and ambitious farmgirl, raised by a brutal father and surrounded by horny farmhands. An avid fanzine reader, she dreams of becoming a screen immortal—via the dazzling animal imitations she’s learned on the farm; the farmhands are skeptical (“I Belong In Hollywood”). To seek a career, she has decided to change her name from "Hinkelberry" to ELLIE ASH.
Her daydreams are interrupted by her father's voice, screaming for her to do chores. ELLIE knows she'd better obey—otherwise he'll beat her. Suddenly, out of nowhere like a white
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