In Centavo City, 1912, Wildcat “Wildy” Jackson dreams of striking oil somehow, although she has neither land nor knowhow. A crew foreman, Joe Dynamite, agrees to work with her despite his doubts of finding oil, but eventually Wildy’s persistence is rewarded.
Photo by Friedman-Abeles © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
- Rehearsal Materials
- Brief History
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
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
1 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III
1 Percussion I & II:
Timpani (2 drums)
Boat Whistle (sharp, high pitch)
1 Guitar, Banjo & Mandolin
Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book - For the Director
17 Prompt Books – For the Cast
35 Chorus-Vocal Parts
WILDCAT played for 171 performances on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre starring Lucille Ball and Keith Andes.