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Posted on Feb 12, 2018

‘Li’l Abner’ a big-time production for QVAA

Carrying a numerous and colorful cast, as well as an ensemble of talented musicians, the musical “Li’l Abner” comes to the Chuck McConnell Performing Arts Center starting next week.
The show includes teenagers like Paige Lubach and Bethany Safe alongside grown-ups like Joanna Moore Bracht and Robert Jasman. Also, the Quincy Valley Allied Arts production carries several married couples, like Vonna and Tom Harris, as well as Nancy and Patric Connelly, and Matthew and Marie Jamison. Matthew plays the title role, in his first time as a main leading man.
QHS student Paige Lubach plays the female lead, Daisy Mae. It’s Lubach’s second time in a leading role, having played Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” last year.

Matthew Jamison and Paige Lubach star in “Li’l Abner,” the latest production from Quincy Valley Allied Arts, opening Feb. 16.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

Veteran director Eric Van Woert did this show more than a decade ago at Masquers Theater in Soap Lake and this is one of his favorite shows, said Marie, the president of the board of directors at QVAA.
“He had been asking for it for a while, so the board decided to go with it this year,” Marie Jamison said. “It is a really funny show, and even though it was written as a 1950s comic, a lot of the political humor is still really relevant today.”
In the musical, Marie and Matthew Jamison as well as Vonna and Tom Harris have scenes with each other.
“It’s fun to play off of each other, because we get to push boundaries in ways that maybe other actors don’t always (do),” Marie Jamison said, “past their comfort zones.” In one scene, Vonna yanks Tom’s hair hard at the end of a song.
“One of those getting-to-push-the-boundaries-when-you’re-married (moments),” Marie Jamison said.
Work started in October with auditions, and rehearsals started in November, with a break for the holidays. The show is family-friendly, and adults and children will find it funny, Marie said.
The show opens Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m., with shows scheduled for Feb. 17, 22, 23 and 24. All but the Feb. 24 show start at 7:30. The last show is a 2 p.m. matinee.
Tickets are available for sale at Martin-Morris, 13 C St. SW, Quincy, or at the door. Tickets are $12; there is a $2 discount for QVAA members.

By Sebastian Moraga, qvprsports@gmail.com

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