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Coming up RosesThe Broadway Musical in the 1950s$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140583.001.0001

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Li'l Abner

Li'l Abner

(p.162) 11 Li'l Abner
Coming up Roses

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

In New York, theatregoers divided into all sorts of groups—those who went only to the more audacious offerings of off Broadway, those who followed favorite stars, and so on. But everyone went to musicals, because they were reflections of culture. Perhaps it was inevitable that the musical would get around to Al Capp's comic strip of life in Dogpatch—a hillbilly mountain town of freaks and types—because social commentary was Capp's stock-in-trade. The series, which started in 1934 when Capp left his job as Ham Fisher's assistant on Joe Palooka, was an entirely original one, fantastical and wide-ranging, eager to tackle anything in American life that Capp felt needed a good, solid spanking. At the center stood the gloriously stupid hunk Abner Yokum, his ridiculous little Pappy and formidable Mammy, along with Abner's eternal girl friend, Daisy Mae Scragg.

Keywords:   off Broadway, Dogpatch, Al Capp, culture, comic strip

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