Li’l Abner


Writers: Gene de Paul Johnny Mercer


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Al Capp's Li'l Abner comic strip
Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Fairy Tale/Fantasy
Fantasy/Imaginary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
dogpatch, southern usa, washington dc, 1950s
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Large Cast, Middle School
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, late teen, child, early teen characters


It’s a typical day in wretched and picturesque Dogpatch, USA, and the local yokels are up to their usual tricks: brewing moonshine, cuddling pigs, and collecting unemployment. Beautiful Daisy Mae is pining after strong handsome Li’l Abner, an unsentimental youth who escapes her pursuit to go fishing. But when Dogpatch is chosen for an atomic test site, and Daisy Mae is claimed in marriage by dirty wrestler Earthquake McGoon, Li’l Abner has to step up and fight for the things he doesn’t know he loves. Guided and guarded by traveling preacher Marryin’ Sam, Li’l Abner travels to Washington, DC, where he tangles with a gaggle of goofy scientists, unscrupulous capitalist General Bullmoose, and scheming minx Appassionata Von Climax. Experience the suspense of a Cornpone Meeting, the romantic free-for-all that is the Sadie Hawkins Day race--where the girls put on their running shoes to catch themselves a groom--and the shenanigans that ensue when a snooty Washington, DC, engagement party is invaded by Hillbillies. Based on Al Capp’s beloved comic strip, with clever book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, and catchy score by Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul, Li’l Abner is a rousing, bombastic, tuneful American musical, which is equal parts slapstick comedy, knowing government satire, and tale of young love.

Lead Characters

Li’l Abner guide sections