Wildcat – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1960
ACT I It’s a pleasant morning in 1912 at Centavo City, a sunny town near the Mexican border, and the populace is wildly excited by the discovery of “Oil!”. Coming into town is Wildcat Jackson (Lucille Ball), a pretty red-haired woman whose good looks are somehow enhanced by her casual shirt and dungarees. She’s broke, but fired with imagination and a determination to strike oil. With not one nickel in her pockets, but with a million in her noodle, she can fast-talk her way into – or out of – anything. She’s also adept at hiding her femininity behind the mask of a clown. Wildy teaches her lame younger sister Janie (Paula Stewart) that a bold face against misfortune will always turn the trick (“Hey, Look Me Over!”). Arriving during the pandemonium, Wildcat and Janie begin to exaggerate their circumstances, bragging that they own a number of oil leases and that their well will be brought in by the greatest drill team boss of them all, Joe Dynamite (they’ve heard of him but don’t really know him). Wildy and Joe (Keith Andes) meet accidentally and are immediately attracted to each other. Joe tells her that he’ll be her foreman only if she can prove ownership of property and possession of a crew. Having neither, but filled with blind faith, she boasts that she’s landed her foreman (“Wildcat”). Joe has brought his young Mexican sidekick Hank (Clifford David) back to Centavo City, Hank’s home town. While telling Hank of the virtues of coming home, Joe reveals his own longing for home and the girl waiting there for him (“You’ve Come Home”). Wildcat and Janie board with Countess Emily O’Brien (Edith King), a lady of frayed elegance who lives on wishes and dreams of past splendor. She urges Wildy to express her dearest wish aloud, and Wildcat replies that it’s for Janie (“That’s What I Want for Janie”). Wildcat learns of ten acres of land outside of town owned by Sookie (Don Tomkins), a dirty, crusty, mischievous old hermit who refuses her any share in his property because he believes a mere woman is incapable of handling a drilling crew. At this moment, a crew appears, searching for Joe Dynamite, and Wildcat provokes them into a free-for-all, just to prove to Sookie that she can handle men (“What Takes My Fancy”). With the subdued crew in hand to work Sookie’s property, Wildcat learns from Joe that he believes there is no oil under the property. And, for good measure, Joe tells her that he’ll not put up with any more of her wily tricks to get him to work for her (“You’re a Liar!”). Meanwhile, a spark of romance flashes into being between Hank and Janie, and because Janie is lame and shy, Hank tries to encourage her by teaching her to dance (“One Day We Dance”). Still determined to hire Joe, Wildcat tries a new tack and tells him she’s decided to give up oil and be all woman (“Give a Little Whistle”). Joe continues to reject her. So, to spite him, Wildcat tells the sheriff that Joe is a fugitive from justice who allegedly killed a man in EI Paso during a brawl. But later she contrives to appear as his defender and convinces the sheriff that Joe should be released in her custody as her employee. Joe and his crew make camp at the drill site. The men talk of their dreams for the future and of their plans for the money they’ll make if they strike oil (“Tall Hope”). ACT II Joe has paid for a fiesta to be held for his pal Hank; and Wildcat is persuaded to attend by the Countess, who teaches her how to act like a lady at the affair (“Tippy, Tippy Toes”). The fiesta begins with a pretense at hilarity because a paid celebration is really no fun. Wildcat arrives wearing an outlandish gown, and Joe declares she has made a fool of herself. She tries to join the festivities, but breaks down completely. However, a sympathetic Mexican intervenes (“El Sombrero”). The following day the crew returns to the drill site and erects an oil derrick. The drilling begins (“Corduroy Road”). Joe learns by chance that the man he hit in the EI Paso brawl did not die, and he berates Wildcat for having lied to him again. Angrily he tells the crew that he has lied to them and “drilled a dry one.” Disheartened, Joe and the crew leave. Wildcat is deserted. Later that night Joe returns to the derrick to claim his belongings and his dynamite. When he discovers that the explosives are missing, he turns to Wildcat who informs him that in anguish and desperation she threw the dynamite into the well hole to destroy it. Desperate in his attempts to save Wildcat and remove her from the soon-to-explode derrick, Joe confesses that he loves her. At this moment the dynamite explodes and, of course, blows in a gusher! (“Finale”).
Jane Jackson: Paula Stewart Wildcat Jackson: Lucille Ball Sheriff Sam Gore: Howard Fischer Barney: Ken Ayers Luke: Anthony Saverino Countess Emily O’Brien: Edith King Joe Dynamite: Keith Andes Hank: Clifford David Miguel: H. F. Green Sookie: Con Tomkins Matt: Charles Braswell Corky: Bill Linton Oney: Swen Swenson Sandy: Ray Mason Tattoo: Bill Walker Cisco: Al Lanti Postman: Bill Richards Inez: Marsha Wagner Blonde: Wendy Nickerson Singers: Ken Ayers, Lee Green, Jan Leighton, Urlee Leonardos, Virginia Oswald, Anthony Saverino, Jeanne Steel, Gene Varrone