Alabama Original: ‘The One-Liner American Diner’

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Left to right are Cullman actor/singer, Rodney Basenbury; Cullman arts supporter, Concetta Lovoy Kreps; playwright/lyricist, Ben Johnson South; Women's Club of Gadsden member, Kathy Sisson; actor/singer, Justin Weygand and actor/singer, Hannah Crider. (Courtesy of Ben South)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman’s original Broadway-intended musical, “The One-Liner American Diner,” previewed songs by the original cast Tuesday, Oct. 22 in Gadsden.

According to playwright and Tribune contributor Ben Johnson South, who wrote the musical’s book and lyrics to all 12 original songs, “It was great to take these immensely talented, crowd-delighting performers and songs to a beautiful luncheon and packed house and hear all the laughter and applause fill the grand, historic mansion of the Women’s Club of Gadsden.”

In this photo from left to right are Cullman actor/singer, Rodney Basenburg; Cullman arts supporter, Concetta Lovoy Kreps; playwright/lyricist, Ben Johnson South; Women’s Club of Gadsden member, Kathy Sisson; actor/singer, Justin Weygand and actor/singer, Hannah Crider. 

“Ninety percent of stage musicals come from Broadway, then tour and trickle down as a ‘packaged kit’ for local groups to produce,” said South. “This show was actually created in Cullman, Alabama with these gifted performers originating the roles and we are aiming for Broadway.”

(Note: Actor/singer Tekoa Walker completes this intergenerational cast, but she was focusing on academics at West Point High School).

The composer for “The One-Liner American Diner” is Stephen Anthony Elkins of New York City.

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Ben South