Wildcat “Wildy” Jackson and her sister Jane arrive in Centavo City with big dreams of striking it rich in the oil business. Though Wildy has neither land nor know-how, she convinces Joe Dynamite, a crew foreman, to help her prospect. Joe doubts they’ll ever find oil, but Wildy persists. After several adventures and a turbulent romance, Wildy and Joe ultimately prevail, and a gusher explodes over their triumphant finale. The score (which marked the Broadway debut of Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh), includes the showstopper “Hey, Look Me Over.”
Photo by Friedman-Abeles © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
WILDCAT is true Americana. It is a period piece about oil drillers in the West of 1912. Wildcat Jackson and her younger, daintier and more helpless sister Jane, come into Centavo City. They are looking to strike it rich so as to provide for the lame sister. “Wildy’s” speech is exaggerated as she tries to compete in a man’s world on masculine terms. Joe Dynamite, the most successful oil foreman in the West pulls into town.
Wildcat immediately feels she must have him to work the land she will acquire. The girls are befriended by Countess Emily O’Brien who lets them share her house. As Wildy hopes that Jane will marry a nice man, she becomes more anxious to obtain some oil land, and meets an odoriferous, unwashed hermit named Sookie. Sookie stays dirty because it keeps people away. They make a deal to go fifty-fifty on any oil discovered on Sookie’s land, and celebrate by singing a show-stopping number, What Takes My Fancy. She stretches the truth to try and attract Dynamite, and falls into a sharp duet with him, You’re A Liar. In the meantime, Jane has met Hank, a pleasant young Mexican boy. Joe is put in jail for cutting up in El Paso and Wildy’s plans are stalled. We are taken to a gay Mexican fiesta where Wildy, dressed like a lady, dances gaily in the El Sombrero number. A well is dug on Sookie’s hill but no oil arises from the earth. The cry goes up that Joe Dynamite has dug a dry one. Wildy keeps at it and at last “Wham” we have a gusher.
A robust, bouncy musical, Wildcat boasts Hey Look Me Over, one of the catchiest numbers to ever come from Broadway. Other outstanding hits are Give A Little Whistle and Tall Hope.
A Musical Play by N. Richard Nash
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Music by Cy Coleman
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is presented by arrangement with
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3 Violin ABCD
2 Cello ABC
1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Flute, Piccolo, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & Bass Saxophone
1 Reed III: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed V: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Bassoon & Baritone Saxophone
2 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III
2 Percussion I & II:
Timpani (2 drums)
Boat Whistle (sharp, high pitch)
1 Guitar, Banjo & Mandolin
Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)
2 Piano/Conductor Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
Sheriff Sam Gore
Countess Emily O’Brien
People of Centavo City and the Plaza
WILDCAT played for 171 performances on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre starring Lucille Ball and Keith Andes.
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