Mark Twain, Frank R. Stockton and Jules Feiffer, supply spicy sauces for the Harlequin Dinner Theater's novel musical revue, "The Apple Tree," a decidedly unusual menu. With WWDC's Johnny Holliday and three of the perkiest Harlequinettes as leading ladies, this off-beat bill is crisp and fanciful.
Composer Jerry Bock and writer Sheldon Harnick introduced these three one-act musicals in 1966, linkin the American humorists on the theme of Woman as the most unpredictable, elusive and sensible of God's creatures.
From Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve" comes Woman as Homemaker. Stockton's 1882 short story is summed up by balladeer Tony Gilbert: "And so I leave with all of you. Which came out of the opened door - the Lady or the Tiger?" Feiffer's summons a fairy godmother twist for the Cinderella who dreams "Oh, To Be a Movie Star," for "Passionella."
While the score has no especially memorable bits, Bock and Harnick use the periods from Eden to Oscar for satirical variety. Because Harlequin doesn't suit on its orchestra, conducted by Richard C. Wall; the music is well-projected fun.
Holiday is one of those rare radio-TV personalities who projects solidly in the flesh. In voice and movement he's in humorous control. Three varied roles - "Adam;" the chief warrier of a semi-barbaric kingdom; and a fuzzy-haried rock star - show Holliday as an accomplished stage performer. For Eve there is Megan McFarland's impetuous zest; for the princess who indicates which door to open Paula Sweeney commands stylish satire; and Pam Bierly's double role of Ella-Passionella is worthy of her "Cabaret" performance.